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Caute_cautim
Community Champion

Does Amazon's Sidewalk have privacy issues?

Hi All

 

According to an investigation, Amazon's sidewalk has come under scrutiny for behaving badly around neighhood networks.  What do you think?  Is it a feature and not a privacy issue?

 

https://www.cyberscoop.com/amazon-ring-sidewalk-privacy-security-cost/

 

Regards

 

Caute_cautim

4 Replies
tmekelburg1
Contributor III

Re: Does Amazon's Sidewalk have privacy issues?

I'm sure to go against popular opinion here in the Community but I don't see Sidewalk as a medium or high risk. It's much easier to track someone by placing malware on their phone than to try and break the encryption implemented in Sidewalk. Will there be vulnerabilities and the potential for abuse? Of course, but we're all speculating on how bad that is. Seriously, we sound like a bunch of financial analysts trying to predict the next recession or market trends in general. Of course another one will happen.

 

I also have no doubt Amazon will continuously create updates to make this more secure as time goes on. Anyone remember the Zoom Security Crises of 2020? Their response was fantastic and is one of the reasons they are still a leader in the videoconferencing industry. 

 

If I can help someone locate their pet or child quicker by sharing a bit of my Gig Internet, I see that as a win. Our privacy concerns should be more focused on cell phones, IMHO. 

 

CraginS
Defender I

Re: Does Amazon's Sidewalk have privacy issues?


@Caute_cautim wrote:

Hi All

 

According to an investigation, Amazon's sidewalk has come under scrutiny for behaving badly around neighhood networks.  What do you think?  Is it a feature and not a privacy issue?

 

https://www.cyberscoop.com/amazon-ring-sidewalk-privacy-security-cost/

 

Regards

 

Caute_cautim


The general press has been noting the controversies over Sidewakl, also:

 

Own an Echo? Amazon may be helping itself to your bandwidth - AP News

 

Amazon US customers have one week to opt out of mass wireless sharing
Critics raise transparency fears over plan to turn all smart home devices into ‘mesh network’

- The Guardian

 

Note that if you have an older Echo device, like Gen 1 or 2, you do not have Sidewalk built into it. That said, I want to my Alexa app and turned it off, anyway, for my Gen 1 Echo and set of Gen 1 and Gen 2 Echo Dots.

 

Craig

 

 

D. Cragin Shelton, DSc
Dr.Cragin@iCloud.com
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CISOScott
Community Champion

Re: Does Amazon's Sidewalk have privacy issues?


@tmekelburg1 wrote:

If I can help someone locate their pet or child quicker by sharing a bit of my Gig Internet, I see that as a win. Our privacy concerns should be more focused on cell phones, IMHO. 

 


Is that all sidewalk is being used for? To find lost kids and pets? If I came up and siphoned off some gas from your car tanks to help get myself to work would you be OK with that? What about if a person did that to get them to their drug dealer's house to get their next high? Still OK with someone using what you paid for their own personal use? If Amazon wanted to  sell some of your gig internet to one of your neighbors who couldn't afford gig, would you also be ok with that?

 

Just playing devil's advocate here but I do not trust Amazon to only use it for "honest" purposes.  At what point can they use as much of your bandwidth as they want? Or perform a DDoS against you if you take a stand against their "opinion" on a particular subject? Just some thoughts.....

tmekelburg1
Contributor III

Re: Does Amazon's Sidewalk have privacy issues?


@CISOScott wrote:

 

Is that all sidewalk is being used for?


Of course not, that specific article was referencing privacy issues around location tracking. I'm sure as this technology matures and develops more and more uses will come of it.

 

 

If I came up and siphoned off some gas from your car tanks to help get myself to work would you be OK with that? What about if a person did that to get them to their drug dealer's house to get their next high? Still OK with someone using what you paid for their own personal use? If Amazon wanted to  sell some of your gig internet to one of your neighbors who couldn't afford gig, would you also be ok with that?

You're comparing apples and oranges. We're talking about Wi-Fi and bandwidth and you're talking about scenarios that are probably blown out of proportion. What are the odds that my neighbor has a house full of IoT devices and those are not within range of their own Wi-Fi signal? I'd wager not very high, if at all. Let's assume the devices are on the edge of their property and are out of the distance of their Wi-Fi. What would those typically be? I'd assume those would be security cameras and flood lights. We both benefit in that situation.

 

Just playing devil's advocate here but I do not trust Amazon to only use it for "honest" purposes.  At what point can they use as much of your bandwidth as they want? Or perform a DDoS against you if you take a stand against their "opinion" on a particular subject? Just some thoughts.....


Oh we both know that if a device takes advantage of the Sidewalk feature, Amazon will collect all kinds of data for their own interests. I'm sure there's a great quote somewhere that sums up "free" usage and data collection lol. It would be nice if they implemented a custom bandwidth limiting option in the future. For example, I don't mind that they use my Wi-Fi signal but they can only use 250MB per month instead of 500MB. I also come from a place of privilege with unlimited bandwidth so others will have to take that into consideration when conducting their own risk analysis of likelihood and impact to their networks.