Normally, we get excited about new technology that aims to improve our lives. However, Amazon is about to release a service that has us concerned.
Amazon Sidewalk is a new platform that will, according to Amazon, allegedly improve services by sharing "a small portion of your internet bandwidth" that has "multiple layers of encryption" with those on nearby Amazon devices. Essentially, the idea is that more internet availability means that everyone's devices will work better. Sidewalk specifically applies to people who own an Amazon Ring or Echo and will begin starting on June 8.
Unfortunately, Amazon device users will automatically be enrolled in Sidewalk unless they manually opt out. This is, of course, a serious privacy and security concern, and users only have one week to ensure that their internet isn't shared with strangers who happen to be nearby.
Now, for the good news: It's easy to opt out of Amazon Sidewalk. For Echo devices, Gizmodo reports that all you have to do is open the Alexa app and click "more." Then, go to "settings" and click on "account settings." Go to "Amazon Sidewalk" and select "off." For Ring devices, visit the Ring app or website, go to the control center, and select the option to disable Amazon Sidewalk.
Remember that if you own an Amazon device, you only have one week to opt out of Sidewalk before it launches, so be sure to set a reminder.
Anna is a Los Angeles-based writer and editor who covers lifestyle and design content for Hunker. She's written for Apartment Therapy, the L.A. Times, Forge, and more. She previously worked as the lifestyle editor at HelloGiggles and deputy editor at So Yummy. Her email: firstname.lastname@example.org