AG Tong says to consider opting out of Amazon Sidewalk, cites privacy concerns

Some officials, including Connecticut Attorney General William Tong believe the danger is that Amazon’s encryption may not do enough to protect your privacy. They are suggesting that people consider deactivating Sidewalk before it goes live on Tuesday.

News 12 Staff

Jun 7, 2021, 11:19 PM

Updated 1,078 days ago

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If you have an Amazon Alexa or a Ring doorbell – you have a choice to make tonight: Do you disable "Sidewalk," a new Amazon feature that is offered in both products?
The goal of Amazon Sidewalk to make internet-connected devices work better. It does that by using devices such as Alexa to open a portion of your Wi-Fi network, connecting with other Wi-Fi networks nearby to help all those web-connected devices like refrigerators, thermostats, and doorbells function more smoothly.
Some officials, including Connecticut Attorney General William Tong believe the danger is that Amazon’s encryption may not do enough to protect your privacy. They are suggesting that people consider deactivating Sidewalk before it goes live on Tuesday.
"If some bad actor wants to hack into that and take advantage of us and use that information and steal that information, that is a risk," Tong says. He wants people to consider disabling Sidewalk.
"You should at least have the choice, right? You should at least be able to say, 'I'm OK with that, I want all those conveniences, or I don't,’” Tong adds.
Sidewalk is not designed to allow people to surf the web with your Wi-Fi, but some wonder what people will prioritize – convenience or security.
Amazon sent News 12 a statement regarding Sidewalk:
“We believe Amazon Sidewalk will provide value for every customer such as more reliable connections, easier troubleshooting, and extended range for their devices such as smart lights, pet locators or smart locks. Customer privacy and security is foundational to how we’ve built Amazon Sidewalk, including multiple layers of privacy and security to protect the data traveling on the network. We also recognize customers appreciate choice and control which is why they can enable or disable their Amazon Sidewalk settings at any time in the Alexa app or the Ring app.”


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