Home https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ Technology https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ Amazon Sidewalk privacy settings: What you need to know about Wi-Fi sharing in your home

Amazon Sidewalk privacy settings: What you need to know about Wi-Fi sharing in your home



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Echo Dot with Clock, one of the many Amazon and Ring gadgets that will double as sidewalk bridges starting June 8.

Chris Monroe / CNET

This Tuesday, June 8 will mark the launch of Sidewalk on Amazon, a new feature that promises to keep your home devices better connected, especially around the edges of your property. The bottom line is that the selected Amazon Echo smart speakers and Ring gadgets will serve as bridges capable of connecting to other devices with a long-distance sidewalk activated using wireless Bluetooth LE or 900MHz LoRa signals – plus a small portion of your home’s Wi-Fi bandwidth. In this way, these products will become part of something like a network, with your Echo acting as an intermediary between your home network and, say, those smart backyard lights that are right on the edge of the Wi-Fi range.

The sidewalk is not just for your outdoor lights and other smart home devices: It’s for everyone’s gadgets. If your neighbor uses a sidewalk mailbox sensor that is within range of the sidewalk bridges in your home, this sensor can be very well used Yours cloud connection network. Amazon insists that these broadcasts are small, fully encrypted, and that no two sidewalk users will ever have access to each other’s networks or devices, but the idea is still raising many eyebrows.

Even more disturbing for some: The sidewalk is enabled by default, so you’ll need to go to the Alexa account settings tab to turn it off if you don’t want to participate. When you do, you’ll notice that the Sidewalk actually comes with two separate privacy permissions: a main sidewalk on / off switch and a second switch that controls something called “Find the community.” Unlike the basic sidewalk permit, the community finding permit is excluded by default.

Amazon explains that this second solution is everything about tile trackers and other sidewalk-activated devices designed to help people find things.

“If you also activate Community Finding, you have the opportunity to help your neighbors by sharing the approximate location of your Bridge to provide them with benefits such as helping them find their pet,” said an Amazon spokesman. “Neighbors using Community Finding will not be able to see the exact address of your sidewalk bridge. They will only see an approximate location. This setting will apply to all your sidewalk bridges. ”

It’s important to note that Amazon anonymizes this location data. If I had turned on Community Finding and someone dropped a wallet with activated sidewalk tiles in my house outside my house, they would have received a warning with the approximate area where the wallet is located or the nearest nearby intersection. This alert will not identify me or my home and will not allow this person to contact me or access my home network.

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Amazon Sidewalk is enabled by default, but the Find Community feature, which shares the approximate location of your home with others, is turned off by default.

Screenshots by Ry Crist / CNET

To summarize, here’s what the Amazon Sidewalk includes and doesn’t include by default:

Included by default

  • Localized Bluetooth LE connections between sidewalks and sidewalk-activated devices in your home
  • Long distances, Bluetooth LE and 900MHz connections between your sidewalks and sidewalk-activated devices outside your home, including other people’s devices
  • Long distance, Bluetooth LE and 900MHz connections between your paved devices and sidewalks outside the home, including other people’s bridges
  • Share bandwidth to send these signals to Amazon’s servers using your home network (up to 80Kbps of transmission and 500MB of data per month)

Excluded by default, requires inclusion in the Community to find

  • Location alerts that share the approximate and anonymous location of your home with other users when they lose a device with an activated sidewalk device such as a tile tracker within range of your sidewalk bridge or vice versa

For reference, here is a complete list of devices that double as sidewalk bridges, along with the protocols they will support. So far only the spherical, fourth generation Amazon Echo,, Amazon Echo Show 10,, Spotlight ring and cable Ring Spotlight Cam include 900MHz radios that can connect to devices up to half a mile away. (BLE transmissions reach a maximum of about 100 meters.) When launched, the only sidewalk-enabled devices that can connect to these 900MHz radios are CareBand wearable sensors designed to track people living with dementia but in the coming months. others must follow.

  • Amazon Echo (second generation, 2017, BLE only)
  • Amazon Echo (third generation, 2019, BLE only)
  • Amazon Echo (fourth generation, 2020, BLE and 900MHz)
  • Amazon Echo Dot with watch (first generation, 2019, BLE only)
  • Amazon Echo Dot with watch (second generation, 2020, BLE only)
  • Amazon Echo Dot (first generation, 2016, BLE only)
  • Amazon Echo Dot (second generation, 2016, BLE only)
  • Amazon Echo Dot (third generation, 2018, BLE only)
  • Amazon Echo Dot (fourth generation, 2020, BLE only)
  • Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition (third generation, 2020, BLE only)
  • Amazon Echo Plus (first generation, 2017, BLE only)
  • Amazon Echo Plus (second generation, 2018, BLE only)
  • Amazon Echo Show (first generation, 2017, BLE only)
  • Amazon Echo Show (second generation, 2018, BLE only)
  • Amazon Echo Show 5 (2019, BLE only)
  • Amazon Echo Show 8 (2019, BLE only)
  • Amazon Echo Show 10 (2020, BLE and 900 MHz)
  • Amazon Echo Spot (2017, BLE only)
  • Amazon Echo Studio (2018, BLE only)
  • Spotlight ring (2019, BLE and 900 MHz)
  • Ring Spotlight Cam Wired (2019, BLE and 900 MHz)

How to adjust the pavement settings

To turn off the Sidewalk (or turn on Community Finding), open the Alexa app and tap the More icon bottom right.

Tap Settings> Account Settings> Amazon Sidewalk to find the main switch for the Amazon Sidewalk.

Tap Finding the community to find the second location-sharing switch.


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