Today Amazon is turning on Sidewalk, a way to extend internet service among Amazon devices such as Echo smart speakers and Ring cameras. Unless you choose not to, your Amazon devices will automatically start participating in this seamless connection.
Amazon has been talking about Sidewalk for a while, so it’s no surprise that the switch is finally flipping. Sidewalk uses the always affordable Amazon devices that are already in your home to create a kind of mesh net to keep the connection. If a sidewalk-enabled device loses access to the Internet, it may take some bandwidth from another in the vicinity. Consequently, the more devices that have activated the Sidewalk, the better it works. This probably explains why Amazon has taken its usual approach of turning it on by default. If you don’t want your devices to be tuned in, you need to actively change some settings.
Amazon has emphasized its commitment to privacy and security in the design of Sidewalk, and has also published a white paper to detail all protections in the service. At the moment, it doesn’t seem to endanger your data at snoops. And it can allow for some real convenience, such as being better able to find tile trackers thanks to a recently announced partnership. But there are always good reasons you might not want your devices to engage and share a bit of your Wi-Fi network at home in exchange for a bit of your neighbor.
“We all exchange a certain level of privacy for convention in our increasingly interconnected world,” says Katie Moussouris, security and privacy researcher. “The devices in our homes should be private by default, and when they aren’t, we should opt out when possible. It’s not necessarily the cause of how that access is used today, but how this interconnection can be. expose or be used in the future which raises concerns ”.
Even if you’re comfortable with Sidewalk using up to 500 MB of your data each month to help your neighbor set kitchen timers, you should also consider how a network like this could evolve. It is mostly so given the welcoming relationship between law enforcement and Amazon’s Ring devices. And for starters, you may prefer that Amazon not launch an invisible switch that enriches your devices in their plans to reshape the internet. I could at least ask myself first.
You can always activate Sidewalk later if you decide it’s worth it for you. But for now, here’s how it turns off. It takes a bit of digging.
For the Echo family of speakers, open the Alexa mobile app and go to No longer, Settings, Account Settings, Trotu Amazonu and choose Disable.
In the Ring app, go to u Control Center, Trotu Amazonu, Disable, Confirm.
There doesn’t seem to be any way to get rid of Sidewalk from a navigator.
“For customers who choose to share their bandwidth with their neighbors, we ensure that owners of other devices can’t view the data sent from your devices,” Amazon wrote in September. blog post. “The sidewalk is also built with maximum upload limits and bandwidth caps to preserve internet bandwidth for Sidewalk Bridge customers.”
If you don’t feel it that one sympathetically, though, you’re not alone, and you have options to stop the spread.
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