Amazon devices will soon automatically share your Internet with neighbors

Discussion in 'Headline News' started by RickAgresta, May 30, 2021.

  1. RickAgresta

    RickAgresta General Peanut, leader of the Peanutty Forces

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    WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG? —
    Amazon's experiment wireless mesh networking turns users into guinea pigs.

    If you use Alexa, Echo, or any other Amazon device, you have only 10 days to opt out of an experiment that leaves your personal privacy and security hanging in the balance.


    On June 8, the merchant, Web host, and entertainment behemoth will automatically enroll the devices in Amazon Sidewalk. The new wireless mesh service will share a small slice of your Internet bandwidth with nearby neighbors who don’t have connectivity and help you to their bandwidth when you don’t have a connection.


    By default, Amazon devices including Alexa, Echo, Ring, security cams, outdoor lights, motion sensors, and Tile trackers will enroll in the system. And since only a tiny fraction of people take the time to change default settings, that means millions of people will be co-opted into the program whether they know anything about it or not. The Amazon webpage linked above says Sidewalk "is currently only available in the US."

    link to Ars Technica article: https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/202...matically-share-your-internet-with-neighbors/

    the important opt-out stuff:

     
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  2. Hook

    Hook Her Clack is Worse Than Her Bite

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    No non-flesh-and-blood assistants in this house. I find it hilarious that the only use case they keep repeating over and over is finding lost pets.

    Yeah, no thanks. :vbrolleyes:
     
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  3. raspabalsa

    raspabalsa Brain stuck BogoMipping

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    From the Amazon Sidewalk webpage:

    Amazon has such a great, self-less heart... they will not charge users for the privilege of having their own paid internet access shared with 3rd-parties at no benefit for said users. Gotta love Amazon for that! :rolleyes:
     
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  4. lelisa13p

    lelisa13p Your Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    I sent that Amazon link to my sister. Her family has at least 4 Alexa devices. :vbeek:
     
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  5. Mi An

    Mi An Hyperfocal

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    It's not as though I was likely to get that gear anyway and I avoid IoT gear generally, but I'm feeling some familiar vibes here. Amazon seems more like a hungry hungry hippo for real world data every day, I assume to feed their machine learning aspirations, and in pursuit of that, they'll decide what happens with your, err, I mean their hardware. It's like if Apple and Facebook had a baby with all their respective worst impulses, i.e., you can't control your hardware or your information.
     
  6. RickAgresta

    RickAgresta General Peanut, leader of the Peanutty Forces

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    …and said baby's nanny is Google™…
     
  7. headcronie

    headcronie Greyscale. Nuff Said. Super Moderator

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    I killed this feature when it was first announced. That's still a no. I already chew through a good chunk of my allotted data each month, I don't need unknown people / devices hopping on and nudging me closer to overage fees. I wouldn't hesitate to nuke my Amazon devices from orbit should they deceptively re-enabled this 'feature' after I've shut it off. Their devices annoy me more than they assist me currently. IMO, a Windows 98 system is more reliable than their gear I've got from them. That says something.
     
  8. jigwashere

    jigwashere Mobile Deity

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    This sounds somewhat similar to Xfinity's WiFi Home Hotspot. If you use Xfinity (Comcast) and rent their Xfinity Gateway, they turn it into a hotspot that any other Xfinity customer can use. It's not supposed to negatively affect your home service, but it can be disabled. When I was an Xfinity customer, I used my own equipment so didn't have a hotspot, but was able to connect to other Xfinity hotspots.
     
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  9. headcronie

    headcronie Greyscale. Nuff Said. Super Moderator

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    I had forgotten about that since I also use my own gear. Not supposed to count against your data allotment but it still consumes bandwidth. If somebody is porking out on 20mbit upload, that's half of my upload speed that I need to work remotely. Nawwww. :p
     
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  10. headcronie

    headcronie Greyscale. Nuff Said. Super Moderator

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    "Amazon says that Sidewalk will get switched on this coming June 8th (Tile functionality will be enabled June 14th), and that it plans to automatically opt in all the eligible devices. The company’s published list of devices includes: Ring Floodlight Cam (2019), Ring Spotlight Cam Wired (2019), Ring Spotlight Cam Mount (2019), Echo (third gen and newer), Echo Dot (third gen and newer), Echo Dot for Kids (third gen and newer), Echo Dot with Clock (third gen and newer), Echo Plus (all generations), Echo Show (all models and generations), Echo Spot, Echo Studio, Echo Input, Echo Flex."

    I got snared. I would have thought that my 1st gen Echo Show would have been too old. Glad I opted out.

    https://www.theverge.com/22463257/amazon-sidewalk-privacy-how-to-opt-out
     

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