What is Amazon Sidewalk and why should you care?
If you own an Amazon device (including Ring), Amazon recently enabled a feature called Sidewalk. Sidewalk, is an attempt by the joined forces of Amazon, Ring, Tile, etal at competing with Apple’s Find My Network, an end-to-end encrypted crowdsourced network of hundreds of millions of devices (read more about Apple’s Find My Network here).
According to Amazon, “Amazon Sidewalk is a shared network that helps devices like Amazon Echo devices, Ring Security Cams, outdoor lights, motion sensors, and Tile trackers work better at home and beyond the front door. When enabled, Sidewalk can unlock unique benefits for your device, support other Sidewalk devices in your community, and even locate pets or lost items.”
Basically, this means Amazon just turned your Amazon, Ring, Tile, etc. device into a tool for your neighbor, friend, stranger, adversary, and anyone else within a certain distance of you to use when they misplace a compatible item need to locate [insert your preferred noun here], or need help with a disconnected device, to name a few of the applications.
To disable or leave Amazon Sidewalk enabled?
The answer to the question of whether or not you should leave Amazon Sidewalk enabled is something you need to answer yourself. Privacy is always a concern, and Amazon may or may not have a vested interest in tracking certain information about its consumers and potential consumers. How valuable would it be to know how often a person is misplacing an item? If I’m selling products to help you find lost items or even the items you lose most often, I would be very interested to know when I should send you an advertisement for the very thing you lost.
Should you choose to disable Amazon Sidewalk, here is how you can do so from within the Alexa App from your mobile device. Launch the Alexa App.
Once you have disabled Sidewalk, you can close your Alexa app.
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