Amazon Sidewalk? Not Without Compensation

Amazon has opened up Sidewalk. But what is it; and why am I demanding compensation for it?

I’m sure you’ve heard of the “Internet of Things”. It’s a stupid marketing term for devices that use small amounts of bandwidth to provide some internet connectivity. I’ve thought this term was as stupid as “the cloud”…because it indicates it’s something special. It’s a marketing gimmick designed to water-down tech and give people a new buzzword.

The “Internet of Things” is just…the internet. Years ago if we put our coffee maker online so we could trigger a brew remotely…we didn’t call it IoT…the only thing that’s changed is…well…marketing.

But I digress. Amazon has opened up Sidewalk to any developer. It is an “IoT” network that provides connectivity over 900MHz. This is all fine and good; except it’s being largely funded BY THE USERS. By default…a lot of Amazon devices will provide an access node for Sidewalk using your internet. Yes; they are, by default, sharing your internet connection.

What do you get in return? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. To make this worse…you literally paid Amazon buying some privacy-invading device that does this.

This, IMO, is the worst kind of behavior. Why the fuck should I, or anyone, share my internet connection with people I don’t know. Why should I be providing what is essentially infrastructure to an Amazon service for nothing in return?

Amazon should start forking some kind of incentives for this. I’m paying for the hardware, I’m paying for the internet, I’m paying for the electricity. This should not be an opt-out; it should be opt-in.

But..I’m sure if they required opt-in…people wouldn’t do it and they wouldn’t have another service to resell.

Years ago a place..I think it was called Fonera or LaFonera; wanted to build a public wifi “network”, a way of encouraging companies to offer free wifi back before LTE and stuff was a thing. The exception with them was they literally gave you the hardware. Fill out a form, get free hardware. Even had dual-AP support so you could have a public AND private AP for your business.

Sadly…a lot of people won’t do shit about this in the long run. They’ll continue to buy these devices, automatically opted in, while a cash-heavy company like Amazon continues to make some kind of profit off them. It’s not enough you buy shit; but you’re also providing a service.

Seriously Amazon…stop treating your customers this way. It’s highly disrespectful.

Posted on: 28-MAR-2023