Starting June 8, if you live in the United States, your Amazon devices will freely connect to other devices nearby, automatically sharing part of your internet connection with your neighbors.
Amazon has slowly expanded the methods of keeping customer devices connected to the internet since last year, with a new service called Sidewalk that’s built into Amazon’s many devices, from the Echo Dot to the Ring monitoring product line. .
This Amazon feature automatically lets you use part of your Wi-Fi to connect to nearby devices that don’t belong to you, like a neighbor.
However, this has led to growing privacy concerns about what information will be shared by devices that use this feature.
What is Amazon Sidewalk?
This is a shared network that connects to your home Wi-Fi network, and in turn, connects to other smart devices around your home. If your connection goes out, possibly due to a fault or if it is cut from the mains, it will connect to other Amazon devices in the region to keep your devices working, using internet connections other people.
Devices with Amazon Sidewalk are listed here, but it goes from the Echo Dot line to the Echo Show and Ring Spotlight Camera lines.
The sidewalk is essentially a way to cover an area larger than your house, and if it is able to connect to your neighbors’ network, the area can expand so much that it could cover an even larger area.
From a privacy standpoint, it automatically activates your devices starting June 8 and while the company has released a white paper. explain how Sidewalk shares your data when it connects to other devices that are not yours is always a concern.
How to deactivate Amazon Sidewalk
Fortunately, there is a way to turn off the service before June 8. Open the Alexa app on your smart device and select the “More” option. Then go to Settings> Account Settings> Amazon Sidewalk.
Disable this option and your devices will only connect to other smart products you have in your home.
Going through Ars Technica