MoneyDon't Waste Your Money


DWYM: Amazon's new Sidewalk has privacy groups horrified

But the good news is you easily can opt out
Posted at 11:43 AM, Jun 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-09 12:48:20-04

How well do you know your neighbors?

Even if you like them, would you want them sharing your WiFi?

Consumer reporter John Matarese looks into a controversial new service from Amazon, so you don't waste your money.

The new program debuts this week.

And many privacy advocates and homeowners are horrified.

But the good news is you can easily opt out.

Today is the day Amazon wants to come into your home a little bit more.

And we are not talking about opening your door and leaving a package inside.

That’s nothing compared to concerns over Amazon's new "Sidewalk" service that's now launching.

If you and your neighbors have ring video cameras, amazon will share your WiFi bandwidth with them, to create a network of ring videos and give everyone on your street a stronger WiFi signal.

But privacy groups are sounding the alarm.

Business insider says "Amazon faces a privacy backlash for its sidewalk feature, which turns Alexa devices into neighborhood WiFi networks that owners have to opt out of."

The non-profit group Mozilla-- which runs the Firefox web browser, -- doesn't like that Sidewalk will be automatically on when you buy a Ring or Echo.

“That's not a practice we like," Mozilla says. "We like it when people are given a choice to opt in to services that might be sharing their personal data."

So from the doesn't that stink file, the fact that you need to turn this service off if you don't want your WiFi linked with your neighbors.

You need to go to your Ring or Alexa app, look for settings. Then select "Sidewalk" and toggle off the feature.

For some people, that could be complicated, and that stinks.

Some privacy groups feel the program should be opt in instead of opt out. But it probably wouldn’t work if you had to sign up to join.

As always, be careful and don't waste your money.