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by John W. Simek, Vice President of Sensei Enterprises, Inc.

Amazon Sidewalk Shares Your Wi-Fi with Strangers

May 12, 2021

Amazon has quietly released Sidewalk, which shares your network with your neighbors. The marketing hype promises to protect your privacy by encrypting the connection and limiting the amount of bandwidth consumed. Essentially, Amazon wants you to utilize Sidewalk so that your devices can be connected and accessed even if your network goes down. The technology claims to be able to utilize other networks that may be up to a half mile away. In other words, Amazon wants to interconnect all of your IoT devices with your neighbor’s devices to create a massive, shared environment.

One of the supported devices is a Ring video doorbell. Imagine my surprise when I received an email stating that our Ring device would automatically be opted in to participate in Sidewalk. No thanks. I immediately turned off the option to participate in Sidewalk. Wired posted information of how Sidewalk works and why you would want to turn it off. Amazon lists the various devices that support Sidewalk. The list includes a lot of Ring and Echo products. I’m not interested in helping Amazon slurp up more information than it already captures.

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