See How to opt out of (or into) Amazon’s Sidewalk network

Filed in Technology by on June 2, 2021 0 Comments

Amazon’s Sidewalk: Do you have an Amazon Echo Studio, an Amazon Echo Dot, or a Ring Floodlight Cam? If so, Amazon is about to connect your device to a new type of network called Sidewalk, which is intended to help extend the range of its low-bandwidth devices (so that, for example, if your network goes down, your Dot can piggyback on your neighbours’), as well as to make location devices like Tile more efficient.

Sidewalk will use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), the 900MHz spectrum, and other frequencies, according to Amazon, “to simplify new device setup, extend the low-bandwidth working range of devices, and help devices stay online and up to date even if they are outside the range of home Wi-Fi.” It will accomplish this by essentially sharing the connectivity of your compatible devices with your neighbours.

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Amazon says Sidewalk will be activated on June 8th (Tile functionality will be enabled on June 14th), and that all eligible devices will be automatically enrolled. Ring Floodlight Cam (2019), Ring Spotlight Cam Wired (2019), Ring Spotlight Cam Mount (2019), Echo (third generation and newer), Echo Dot (third generation and newer), Echo Dot for Kids (third generation and newer), Echo Dot with Clock (third generation and newer), Echo Plus (all generations), Echo Show (all models and generations), Echo Spot, Echo Studio, Echo Input, Echo Fl

There have been concerns raised about how this may affect the privacy of your data. Amazon has published a white paper outlining how customer information is safeguarded. However, if you are still unconvinced and would prefer not to participate in Amazon’s “good neighbour” program, you can opt out before Sidewalk is activated. Here’s how to do it:

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USING THE ALEXA APP

  • In your Amazon Alexa app, select the “More” icon at the lower right-hand corner of the screen
  • Go to “Settings” > “Account Setting” > “Amazon Sidewalk.” (Just a note: if you’re not connected to any Echo or Ring devices, you will probably not see this option.)
  • Use the toggle to disable Sidewalk

 

That’s all there is to it! Opting out will have no effect on the current functionality of your devices, according to Amazon. However, if you decide to opt back in, or if you want to opt-out in the future, you can return to the “Amazon Sidewalk” page and use the toggle.

On the same page, you’ll notice a setting for “Community Finding,” which will share the approximate location of the devices connected by Sidewalk in order to improve the accuracy of location-dependent items like Tile. If you prefer, you can keep Sidewalk running but disable “Community Finding” by clicking the “Community Finding” link at the bottom of the “Amazon Sidewalk” page and then toggling it off.

USING THE RING APP

  • In your Ring app, go into your Control Center by tapping the three-lined icon in the upper left-hand corner of the screen
  • Select “Sidewalk” and use the slide button to opt-out
  • You’ll be asked to confirm your opt-out. You can opt back in the same way.

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