Expert: Amazon’s new Sidewalk network is banking on your ‘laziness,’ how to opt-out

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(WSPA) – Are you comfortable with sharing your internet? If you use an Amazon device, chances are right now you are doing just that.

The company quietly launched its new shared network called Amazon Sidewalk on June 8. It gave users eight days to opt-out before their devices connected to create the new service.

Some cybersecurity experts are concerned and why they say Amazon “primed” you to do nothing about it.

Whether you know your neighbors, chances are right now your Ring camera and Echo speaker are linked to their devices through a new shared network called Amazon Sidewalk.

No text or email notifications went out to customers like the Orszaks in Greenville, South Carolina.

“It’s the first I heard of it is when you came up. I think it’s wrong,” said Midge Orszak.

“It seems like they should have emailed everybody and told them about the change. It shouldn’t be opt out, it should be opt in,” said Jeff Orszak.

Cyber security expert John Sinderman, the CEO of Pivotal IT, couldn’t agree more.

“I think what they’re counting on is the laziness of the user because they figure they’re just not going to turn it off,” said John Sinderman, the CEO of Pivotal IT.

Before we talk security, what exactly are users who don’t opt out getting?

Amazon says Sidewalk creates a new network using existing Ring and Echo devices that now share a portion of your internet bandwidth. The service not only ensures your products still work, even if your internet goes down, but it also provides more connectivity to products outdoors like lights and motion sensors.

“I don’t see the need for it. I’m able to get everything I need without this sharing,” Orszak said.

Amazon is quick to point out that Sidewalk “does not share your WiFi,” but Sinderman says while technically correct, that’s splitting hairs.

“They’re putting a device on their network that now will allow other devices from as far as a mile away to connect to that device on their network. In our world that is a potential vulnerability, it could allow access into your network from a network that’s not trusted,” Sinderman said.

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