Home Business Here’s out to opt out of Amazon’s plan to share your wi-fi

Here’s out to opt out of Amazon’s plan to share your wi-fi

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Amazon Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) is turning all of its gadgets into a massive shared wireless network, and customers have only a week to opt out of it. Amazon Sidewalk uses the company’s devices to build citywide “mesh networks” to make it easier for users to set up new devices.

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The networks will also keep users online even if they're out of range for their home wi-fi, and they will extend the range of tracking devices like the tags made by Tile.

Amazon prepares to roll out Sidewalk

According to The Guardian, Amazon Sidewalk creates a low-bandwidth network using smart home devices like Ring doorbell cameras and Amazon Echo speakers. It means a new Echo device can set itself up using a neighbor's wi-fi, or a Ring security camera can keep sending motion alerts even if the user's internet goes down. The camera simply piggybacks on the connection created by another Ring doorbell next door or across the street.

Amazon has taken flak for the way it is rolling out Sidewalk. Ashkan Soltani, a former chief technology at the Federal Trade Commission, told Ars Technica that Amazon is essentially becoming a global internet service provider "with the flick of a switch" and "without even having to lay a single foot of fiber." The online retailer is doing that in addition to logging users' shopping habits and internet activity because Amazon Web Services is one of the most popular web hosting services in the world."

Gartner analyst Lydia Leong warned on Twitter that Amazon Sidewalk could even break the terms and conditions of users' internet connections, which don't allow them to share their wi-fi networks with others.

How to opt out of Amazon Sidewalk

Critics have also blasted Amazon for enabling Sidewalk automatically and giving people such a short amount of time to opt out. The network goes online starting June 8, so if you want to opt out of sharing your internet connection with others, you don't have much time to do it.

To opt out on your Ring doorbell, go to the control center on the Ring website or in the Ring app. If you have an Echo device, you can opt out in the settings in the Alexa app. Here are all the devices that will support Sidewalk so that you can make a checklist and opt out on all your devices:

  • 2019 Ring Floodlight Cam
  • 2019 Ring Spotlight Cam Mount
  • 2019 Ring Spotlight Cam Wired
  • Third-generation and newer Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Dot for Kids, and Echo Dot with Clock
  • All generations of the Echo Plus
  • All models and generations of the Echo Show
  • Echo Spot
  • Echo Flex
  • Echo Input
  • Echo Studio
  • All Tile Bluetooth trackers

Amazon is part of the Entrepreneur Index, which tracks 60 of the largest publicly traded companies managed by their founders or their founders' families.

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