Do you know what Sidewalk is? Sidewalk is a feature that is found within all of the Amazon Echo smart speakers and Ring security cameras. It shares your home internet connections with your neighbour’s devices. This feature has raised concerns from numerous sources, all of which are questioning the safety and reasoning behind such a feature. Sidewalk will be signaling all the Amazon devices in your neighborhood to create a giant mesh network. Not only is this system potentially insecure, but doing this will massively increase the reach of Amazon's Ring security business.
This technology does have many seemingly beneficial features, such as making it easier to set up smart-home devices and creating a more robust network for users. However, despite this, the Amazon Sidewalk feature only contributes to the growing trend of invasive technology - by participating in Sidewalk, you have no idea what type or how much data you are agreeing to transmit. Many also believe that Amazon will be switching on Sidewalk for their own benefit, such as helping to track packages or connect to their delivery trucks.
Amazon has decided to switch on the Sidewalk feature for all American customers for devices going back to 2018, without asking for users’ consent or permission. If you were interested in turning it off, we have listed instructions below on how to turn off Sidewalk for both the Amazon Echo and Ring devices.
How to turn it off: if you have an Echo device, go to the Alexa app on your phone, tap the more icon, tap Settings then Account Settings and then tap on Amazon Sidewalk. Then make sure the "Enabled" setting is set to off.
For Ring devices, go to the Ring app on the phone, tap the three bars on the top left corner, then tap the Control Centre and scroll down to Amazon Sidewalk.
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