If you own Amazon devices, they automatically opted you in to Amazon’s Sidewalk network from June 8. This allows your Amazon (Alexa/Echo and Ring for example) devices to automatically share a small portion of your home wireless bandwidth with your neighbor’s WiFi, and theirs to yours, says Inc.com.
Amazon says the program is a way to make sure lights, smart locks and other gadgets outside the home and out of reach of a Wi-Fi connection stay working. However, this’ll the technology is so new that privacy and security risks remain unclear. Sidewalk is a “mesh network” that uses Bluetooth and 900MHz radio signals to communicate between devices. Have you heard of it before? No, neither had we. And I bet you would be stunned to discover it will be turned on BY DEFAULT! You will have to opt-out of using it if you do not want it. (Video on how to below)
Of course, you might like it. It’s clever technology that “bridges” between your WiFi connection and another one. AS Inc.com says: That way, if your Ring doorbell, for example, isn’t located close to your WiFi router, but it happens to near an Echo Dot, it can use Sidewalk to stay connected. The same is true if your internet connection is down. Your smart devices can connect to other smart devices, even if they aren’t in your home. The big news on this front is that Tile is joining the Sidewalk network on June 14. That means that if you lose a Tile tracker, it can connect to any of the millions of Echo or Ring devices in your neighborhood and send its location back to you.
However, you might not want to be a part of this. Here is how to opt out.