Amazon internet sharing goes live today with launch of Amazon Sidewalk. Here’s how to opt out
If you own an Amazon device, take note.
The new Amazon Sidewalk program goes into effect Tuesday, and the tech giant is automatically enrolling owners of some of its devices in the program that shares their internet connection with neighbors.
Amazon, which originally announced the networking project in September 2019, told USA TODAY that Sidewalk would launch June 8 on eligible Echo devices, including select Ring cameras.
Amazon Sidewalk is a low-bandwidth shared network the tech giant says will not only allow your devices to work better, but also help locate lost items.
The network shares “a small portion of your internet bandwidth which is pooled together to provide these services to you and your neighbors,” reads a description on Amazon’s website. “And when more neighbors participate, the network becomes even stronger,” it claims.
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Amazon doesn’t charge anything for Sidewalk, and the company says “multiple layers of encryption” provide privacy and security for your personal data. But Amazon has gotten some flak for automatically opting users in.
How to turn off Amazon Sidewalk on Ring, Echo
Amazon says its Sidewalk feature has multiple layers of privacy and security to protect personal information, but users will have the option to turn off Sidewalk if they decide not to participate.
Ring owners with an eligible device can opt out by visiting the control center in the Ring app or Ring website. Customers who own an eligible Echo device can make changes in Settings in the Alexa app.
Amazon says customers who purchase an eligible Echo device for the first time will have the chance to disable Sidewalk during the setup process.
Shelly Palmer, CEO at The Palmer Group, a tech strategy advisory group, said he plans to opt out in part because of the automatic opt-in and “I don’t like the idea of being a node on an Amazon peer-to-peer network and enriching the richest man in the world with my bandwidth, my data and my money.”
Amazon Sidewalk will also be supported by Tile. Bluetooth tracker owners can use to keep tabs on their keys, wallet or other important items.
Does my Amazon device have Sidewalk?
Here is the list of devices Amazon says support Sidewalk:
- Ring Floodlight Cam (2019)
- Ring Spotlight Cam Wired (2019)
- Ring Spotlight Cam Mount (2019)
- Echo (3rd gen and newer)
- Echo Dot (3rd gen and newer)
- Echo Dot for Kids (3rd gen and newer)
- Echo Dot with Clock (3rd gen and newer)
- Echo Plus (all generations)
- Echo Show (all models and generations)
- Echo Spot
- Echo Studio
- Echo Input
- Echo Flex
Contributing: Mike Snider and Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY
Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.
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