What you need to know: Amazon Sidewalk coming to Oklahoma next week

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Beginning next week, the Amazon Sidewalk will be active in Oklahoma and across the country.

The Amazon Sidewalk will allow customers to share their Internet connections from their home devices to create a stronger, farther reaching connection.  

 “If you have a tile tracker on your keys and you drop it at the end of your driveway, if your network doesn’t go that far but your neighbor’s covers that…by taking just a little bit of everybody’s bandwidth and combining it, they can cover those areas so you can find your keys at the end of the driveway,” said Patricia Hammar, a cybersecurity expert. 

It sounds like a great idea, but Hammar and CEO of Control Cyber Inc., Teresa Rule, say they’re not so sure.  

“Unless you are 100% certain that you are ready to assume the risk of anything that could happen, you should not opt in,” said Rule.  

Their concerns are around privacy and how much of users’ personal information could potentially be available and easily accessible through the new technology.  

“Think of everything you’ve ever asked Alexa. They know what time you’re home, when you’re not home. There’s all sorts of information on there,” said Hammar.  

The Sidewalk will be online next week, beginning on June 8, and if you don’t opt out, you’re automatically in.

Rule and Hammar say users shouldn’t automatically be entered in a program they’re not educated on.  

“We should be paying attention because the more we have technology in our homes and integrated into our lives, the more we should become responsible users and very aware,” said Rule.  

For more information on the devices that support Sidewalk and how to opt out, click here.

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