Amazon Sidewalk is a new service that connects Amazon speakers and other devices into an open wireless network, and y'all are automatically opted in. In other words, some of my neighbors will soon be inadvertantly letting their other neighbors use their internet connections, with all the lost privacy and acquired liability this entails. Android Authority has instructions on how to opt out.
Amazon's grand design for Sidewalk is simple. The free service allows the company to easily broaden the coverage and connectivity of smart home devices beyond a Wi-Fi network. "For example, if your Echo device loses its Wi-Fi connection, Sidewalk can simplify reconnecting to your router," it explains. "For select Ring devices, you can continue to receive motion alerts from your Ring Security Cams, and customer support can still troubleshoot problems even if your devices lose their Wi-Fi connection." While Amazon does provide documentation (h/t Ars Technica) on how it uses the service, the encryption it employs, and user privacy, it's likely many users aren't too thrilled by the concept.