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Beware: Amazon Sidewalk

Amazon introduces opt-out feature that raises significant privacy and security concerns. Here’s how to opt out.

Apparently Amazon is introducing a feature that extends your Wi-Fi and shares your home’s bandwidth with anyone else using an Amazon device. I’m not too familiar with these mesh networks, but until I know more I think caution is warranted. This opt-out feature raises significant privacy and security concerns.

Here’s how Amazon describes it:

Amazon Sidewalk is a new long-term effort to greatly extend the working range of low-bandwidth, low-power, smart lights, sensors, and other low-cost devices customers install at the edge of their home network. Using the 900 MHz spectrum, we are developing a new protocol we project can increase the connection range of these devices by more than one half mile/one kilometer. With Amazon Sidewalk, customers will be able to place smart devices anywhere on their property and know they’ll work great, even in dead spots where Wi-Fi and Bluetooth don’t reach.

I am not a privacy or network security expert. But until I learn more about this I’ll be opting out.

Here’s how to turn it off:

  1. Open Alexa App.
  2. Go to settings
  3. Account Settings
  4. Amazon Sidewalk
  5. Turn it off