Amazon enables Sidewalk network on millions of devices

Millions of internet-connected Amazon devices around the country will be connected to the company’s Sidewalk network starting Tuesday, despite privacy concerns.

The internet-sharing network connects nearby devices via Bluetooth and radio frequencies, allowing them to stay connected to the internet via other Sidewalk-enabled devices even if disconnected from home wireless networks.

The network has been available for Ring Spotlight and Floodlight cameras since last year. Starting Tuesday, most Echo devices will have the feature activated, while Tile trackers will connect on June 14. 

Users have the option to opt-out, and internet searches for Amazon Sidewalk turn up dozens of articles on how to do so.

Amazon has pitched Sidewalk as a way to ensure that smart devices placed outside have the connections needed to function properly. 

Critics have raised concerns about the amount of data that will pass through devices to and from neighbors that are connected to Sidewalk. 

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong put out a warning in advance of new devices being added to the network urging consumers to be cautious. 

“Wireless networks are already notoriously vulnerable to hacks and breaches, and families need better information and more time before giving away a portion of their bandwidth to this new system,” he said in a statement Monday.

Amazon has made a white paper public about how user data is being secured and anonymized.

Tags Amazon Sidewalk

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