In a jaw-dropping admission, The Washington Post warned of the potential privacy problems a new technology buried in Amazon smart devices poses to consumers.
The Post, owned by liberal billionaire founder and CEO of Amazon Jeff Bezos, warned about its owner’s Amazon smart devices. “Amazon seems oblivious to many obvious consumer concerns with its increasingly invasive technology. So let me say it: Remotely activating our devices to build a closed Internet of Amazon is not okay,” it wrote.
This doesn’t happen often, Washington Post, but I agree.
Technology columnist Geoffrey A. Fowler alerted his viewers to the “invasive” new technology “Sidewalk” in his piece headlined: “Amazon is about to share your Internet connection with neighbors. Here’s how to turn it off.”
“There’s an eyebrow-raising technology buried inside millions of Amazon Echo smart speakers and Ring security cameras,” wrote Fowler. “They have the ability to make a new kind of wireless network called Sidewalk that shares a slice of your home Internet connection with your neighbors’ devices.”
Amazon touted its new service in its blog:
“Amazon Sidewalk is a shared network that helps devices like Amazon Echo devices, Ring Security Cams, outdoor lights, motion sensors, and Tile trackers work better at home and beyond the front door.”
But if that doesn’t creep you out, “on Tuesday, Amazon is switching Sidewalk on — for everyone,” wrote Fowler.
The Post columnist then brought up concerns he had with the troubling tech: “Is it secure enough to be activated in so many homes? Are we helping Amazon build a vast network that can be used for more surveillance? And why didn’t Amazon ask us to opt-in before activating a capability lying dormant in our devices?”
Fowler admitted he’s turning Sidewalk “off” and “recommend[ed] you opt out of Sidewalk, too.”
By participating in Sidewalk “you also have no control over what sort of data you’re helping to transmit.” In fact, “[i]n communities where Amazon Ring devices already over-police many doors and driveways, Sidewalk could power more surveillance, more trackers — maybe even Amazon drones.”
Amazon reportedly declined an interview with The Post, but Fowler summarized that implementation of the new technology “was about making our tech work better.”
Amazon has found itself on the wrong side of issues before, including in the last year when it received a resounding “F” on Free Speech America’s first Big Tech Report Card. The company earned its failing grade in the first quarter of 2021 for pulling the plug on Parler among other nefarious and censorious practices. The Big Tech platform has also received criticism concerning consumer privacy, even from the Federal Trade Commission.
Conservatives are under attack. Contact Amazon at (206) 266-1000, Facebook, Twitter or mail to 410 Terry Avenue North Seattle, WA 98109 and demand the platform provide transparency while giving weight to privacy concerns. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.