What is Amazon Sidewalk and How to Opt out

What is Amazon Sidewalk and How to Opt-Out?

What is Amazon Sidewalk and how to opt out

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What is Amazon Sidewalk and how to opt out

Amazon launched their experimental service, Sidewalk, on June 8th. Amazon Sidewalk essentially turns every Amazon-enabled smart device into a low-bandwidth shared network, tapping into each device and tying signals together. Sidewalk allows neighboring smart devices lacking connectivity to share a portion of your internet, and vice versa. This could assist your personal devices, along with neighbors, to both get and stay connected even outside of personal WiFi range. Sidewalk was designed in hopes to create a “city-wide mesh network” allowing smart devices, such as Alexa or security cameras, to still operate as usual even if your WiFi connection is lost, or out of range. It could also potentially help Tile Tag users when tracking a pet or valuables. But how to opt out of Amazon Sidewalk is a question that people have been asking.

            While the impact of Sidewalk on personal data usage and bandwidth is rather small, it does raise a number of security concerns for both customers and Cyber Security experts, as WiFi itself is not always secure. Sidewalk will be running on its own WiFi Protocol, using the 900 MHz Spectrum, however it has gone through zero beta testing. Experts say this leaves a huge possibility for privacy and security breaches. Looking at the history of wireless technologies, such as WEP and WPA, the concerns are understandable. Both WEP and WPA contained many flaws that allowed for easy decryption, allowing malware attacks to be even more productive.

            All Amazon Smart Devices, by default, were automatically enrolled into this experiment and became “Sidewalk Bridges”. This is another concern for experts, that Amazon did not require users to “opt-in”, giving their clear permission to be enrolled, but instead is only offering users the option to “opt-out”. This means that many customers may be unaware they’ve been enrolled into this service. Of course, during emergency situations, Amazon Sidewalk could potentially prove to be very useful, but the red flags are definitely there. Luckily, opting-out can be done at any time, via Alexa and Ring apps. If your devices are connected to your Amazon account, your chosen Sidewalk settings will be applied across all of your devices. 


How to Opt-Out:


On Alexa

1.     Select More & then Settings in your Alexa app

2.     Account Settings

3.     Select Amazon Sidewalk & turn off

On Ring

1.     Go to the Control Center within the Ring app (via 3-lined icon in top left corner)

2.     Select Sidewalk settings & toggle off

3.     Confirm opting out


For More information visit: https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=GZ4VSNFMBDHLRJUK