AMAZON : Wants to surveil your dog. A privacy advocate says the company ''is building the infrastructure to monitor us all.''

WE'RE in the middle of a digital privacy reckoning. Even the tech companies are taking notice.  Facebook is reportedly pivoting its social network inward to private groups.

Google is tightening privacy restrictions on its Chrome Browser and its voice assistants. Apple has started putting a privacy front and center in its advertising campaigns.

And there's Amazon, which is, uh, trying to strap the surveillance state to your dog. Seriously.

Last month in Seattle, the e-commerce giant invited reporters as it rolled out a mind-boggling array of new products. One Zero's Will Ormus aptly described the the event as Amazon's quest to become  ''The Everywhere Store''.

As far as I can tell, the theme appeared to be : items you might remember from your analog life 'ovens, doorbells, rings, lamps, eyeglasses, dog collars] only now with more microphones, sensors and tracking capabilities].

Some of this isn't new.

Ever since the runaway success of Amazon's Echo speaker, the company has been trying to stuff its poor voice assistant, Alexa, into as many mundane corners of our life as possible. The event in September marked the furthest realization of this ambition to date.

 But Amazon's vision of the future feels increasingly at odds with the ability to be anonymous in public.

One concern, according to the tech activist Liz O'Sullivan, is Amazon'new product called Sidewalk, which is a wireless mesh Wi-Fi network that will help link connected devices at long range.

On Twitter O'Sullivan suggested that products like Sidewalk [which is in testing phase] need only a small fraction of the country to opt in to ''to create a network with exhaustive coverage of our neighborhoods and streets.''

Her takeaway : ''Amazon is building the infrastructure to monitor us all.''

I reached out to O'Sullivan shortly after her tweets to get a better idea of how this might work.

Her fear is that Amazon, through Sidewalk as well as other products, like its Ring doorbell cameras, is quietly creating Wi-Fi beacons everywhere.

Each time our products comes in contact with these devices, they transmit little bit of data. Mostly, this data isn't highly personal [occasionally, its randomized], but it's still enough to potentially identify and then track users.

Again, this already happens with Wi-Fi routers and mobile phones.

The big difference here is that Amazon is looking to own a substantial chunk of the network and the devices. That means having access to a lot of data.

The honor and serving of the latest operational research on Amazon and surveillance, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Charlie Warzel.


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