ORLANDO, Fla. – Amazon on Tuesday launched its new Sidewalk initiative on its devices, but critics worry it could put users’ privacy at risk.
Amazon Sidewalk is designed to allow devices, including Echo speakers and Ring doorbells, to remain online by connecting to a neighbor’s internet if someone’s signal drops.
Amazon says the total monthly data that would be used by Sidewalk enabled-devices is capped at 500 MB, about what it takes to stream 10 minutes of high-definition video.
Currently owned devices will automatically be included in the Sidewalk program, while newly purchased products will ask for permission first.
Privacy advocates have decried the automatic opt-in element.
Owners of Amazon devices who do not want their devices to be a part of the Sidewalk network can opt out.
How do you opt out?
If you don’t want your Amazon devices to share a slice of your internet, this is how you opt out:
- Open the Alexa app.
- Open “More.”
- Select “Settings.”
- Select “Account Settings.”
- Select “Amazon Sidewalk.”
- Disable “Amazon Sidewalk.”
If you don’t already have the Alexa app, you will have to install it just to turn Amazon Sidewalk off. You can’t opt out from your Amazon account online.