A neighborhood network of low-powered devices, Amazon Sidewalk has raised some eyebrows. Here is how to opt out.
Amazon Sidewalk promises to extend the low-bandwidth working range of devices and simplify their set-up. But there are many questions looming around its impact on our privacy and data.
If you the cautious type, here’s how to opt out of using Amazon Sidewalk.
What Is Amazon Sidewalk?
Amazon Sidewalk was created by Amazon to give a signal boost to smart home systems. It is a program that allows Amazon devices to emit Bluetooth signals to extend their range beyond the confines of your home’s Wi-Fi.
It also simplifies the set-up of new devices, aids in tracking your valuables with Tile trackers, and helps devices stay online even if they are further away from the range of your Wi-Fi signal.
As more houses in a neighborhood join the Amazon Sidewalk, a bigger mesh of this network is created. However, it also poses some security concerns if you are not comfortable with sharing bandwidth with your neighbors.
How to Opt-Out of Amazon Sidewalk
Amazon Sidewalk is an “opt-out” feature which means that unless you manually turn it off, you will be automatically “opted-in” and it will be enabled by default for all your Amazon smart devices.
If you decide to opt out, there are a few steps you need to take. Note that these settings will be applied to all your connected Echo and Ring devices.
- Open the Alexa app and tap on More > Settings > Account Settings > Amazon Sidewalk.
- If you completely want to disable Sidewalk support then simply toggle off the Amazon Sidewalk setting, and you’re done.
- There is another option that lets you keep Sidewalk enabled while disabling the Community Finding feature that lets the other owners of Sidewalk-enabled trackers pinpoint their lost devices or pets.
Note: Amazon has promised that the Community Finding feature allows the users to only see an approximate location and the location data does not reveal any personal information. However, if you still wish to, you can turn the Community Finding feature off.
If your Echo and Ring Devices are not interconnected, then take the following steps to disable the Sidewalk for your Ring devices.
- Access your Ring app.
- Go to the Control Center then select Amazon Sidewalk > Disable and then tap Confirm.
Should You Trade Privacy for Convenience?
Sidewalk offers conveniences like re-connecting to your Echo device if it loses Wi-Fi connection, no-charge fees, receiving motion alerts from your Ring security cameras even if your devices lose connection, and locating your pets, and more. But there are good reasons that you might not want to participate.
Despite the fact that Amazon has released a white paper detailing its security protections for consumers, it is too early in the game to know if Amazon Sidewalk is genuinely committed to our privacy.
So for the time being, it is better to be safe by opting out of Sidewalk.
We’re taking a closer look at Amazon Sidewalk and how the company wants to use your existing Echo and Ring devices to create a smart neighborhood.
About The Author