According to a complaint filed on Thursday, Amazon.com Services Inc. and Amazon Digital Services Inc. are under scrutiny for building an “unprecedented national wireless network” at consumers’ expense through certain Amazon products and a recently launched technology called Sidewalk. The class action lawsuit seeks to hold Amazon accountable for its allegedly unfair and deceptive business practices, which the filing says pose heightened security risks to consumers’ personal data.
The Seattle, Washington complaint explained that Amazon Echo smart speakers and Ring security camera systems equipped with Amazon’s Sidewalk network are embedded with technology that enables those devices to connect to other Echo and Ring devices nearby through Bluetooth. Sidewalk was reportedly launched on June 8, and automatically connects compatible devices to others nearby without first asking consumers’ for consent to share their Internet bandwidth.
According to the complaint, the new “mesh” network “with long-range connectivity that would otherwise be expensive to create,” permits Amazon to sidestep the process of building its own network by utilizing the plaintiffs’ and putative classes’ private internet connections and bandwidth.
The complaint argued that it is unfair of Amazon to force consumers to foot the bill for this new wireless network. The plaintiffs seek to certify a nationwide class of people who have purchased Amazon Echo smart speakers and Ring security camera systems equipped with Amazon’s Sidewalk technology.
They also seek declaratory and injunctive relief, various types of damages, and an award of their attorneys’ fees and costs. The consumers are represented by Tousley Brain Stephens PLLC, The Brad Sohn Law Firm PLLC, and LippSmith LLP.