Amazon's Sidewalk Network goes live Jun 8 and if you own any Amazon devices you are opted in by default

To follow up from @cwwilson08's post last November:

Here is an update:

This can either be a good or bad thing depending upon your perspective I guess. In my case I would prefer to opt out and then make the decision if incorporating "Amazon Sidewalk" would be useful or not (spoiler: nope, not right now).

edit: just checked, yes it was enabled for my account.

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Agree, opt-out for something like this is preferable.

But TBH I don’t remember opting out and in my Alexa app it’s disabled:

It’s possible I did and forgot though :man_shrugging:.

Edit: I should check my wife’s phone, she never touches the Alexa app.

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It was enabled on mine as well--thanks for the heads-up!

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Its not in the UK to enable or disable

That's because you (and the EU as well) have much better consumer privacy laws/protections than we do here in the US...

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There were numerous reports that those who opted out early found that Sidewalk was re-enabled when they went back to check at a later date. I'll check again after June 8.

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It's interesting you mention that because I could have sworn I disabled it back then but cannot say for sure... definitely something to keep an eye on..

Thanks for the info. I just disabled it.

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Does this affect FireTV and tablets too? or just echo and Dot devices?

Replying to mark this date that I opted out of Alexa Sidewalk.

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If Apple did this, I’d be inclined to let it stay, Amazon or google, not a chance….. Amazon will 100% use this to track you and serve ads.

Unless you have a Sidewalk device on you, how are they going to track you? Honestly I think this is overblown. If you use a cell phone, you're already being tracked and to a far greater degree than what is possible with Sidewalk.

The problem here is that it is a chicken and egg situation. If a large robust network isn't in place, nobody is going to develop devices for it. And who is going to develop that large robust network if there are no devices to use it? Only large companies like Amazon have the resources to take a chance on something like this.

No doubt Amazon has made a sizable investment in development and infrastructure to make this work. Yes, it also requires our uncompensated participation, but as a practical matter, what is it really costing us?

Go on Amazon and search for Sidewalk devices and you'll find nothing except devices that are bridges. Nothing that can actually USE the network for something useful. Supposedly newer Tile trackers will work starting mid June, but I doubt there's so many Tile trackers in my neighborhood that they're going to eat up all my bandwidth. Aside from Tile devices, it's pretty much a build-it-and-hope-they-will-come situation.

Maybe if enough people opt-in, devices will be created that many of us will find useful. And maybe someday if there are lots of devices and significant bandwidth is being used, then Amazon will come up with some compensation plan as incentive to leave Sidewalk enabled. If not, you can opt-out.

But right now, philosophical or emotional issues aside, what's the harm in seeing where this goes? I'm actually toying with the idea of replacing my Chipolo trackers, which I'm fed up with, and giving the Sidewalk-enabled Tile trackers a shot.

I too think the concept is cool and I agree you need critical mass in order for it to demonstrate the usefulness. However it is still owned and controlled by one company and that's where I get a little nervous. It's really only about monetizing us and our gizmos. The more useful the network the more connected gizmos they sell oh, and tons of data collection likely too.. all in a nice feedback loop...

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My reason is because of the new tos. If u have Alexa app to “no location” they still see your location via sidewalk

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What other option is there though? Only Amazon (and similarly sized companies) have the resources to develop something like this, as well as the ability to survive and write the whole thing off if it turns out to be a bust.

There's enough Echo and Ring devices out there that can act as bridges to make this work. For someone else to do this (other than maybe Google), you'd need to build out an entire nationwide network and the cost of that would likely be in the billions.

Absolutely, this is all about making money for Amazon. It is a for-profit company and they have a fiduciary duty to their stockholders (and anyone can buy Amazon stock). Doesn't mean I like everything Amazon does, not by a long shot. But if you buy things from Amazon, they already know tons of stuff about you.

I realize people's opinions vary widely on this, but whatever data Amazon has on me really doesn't concern me. I choose to buy things from them, and expect that they keep track of that. I expect that Lowes and Home Depot also keeps track of the things I buy. So does the supermarket, and every other company I buy things from. I could also choose not to buy things from any of them, but the benefit to me outweighs any concerns about what they think they know about me.

Only speaking from a technical side. AMAZON could never compete with google or Apple in the “mesh tracking”. Too many phones and the way they do it is genius. You can’t just leech on the find my mesh. To use it, you HAVE to share. Apple bought themselves a lot of public trust when they told the fbi to “shove it” when they asked them to unlock a terrorist phone for national security. I trust Apple, up to and including terrorism. Amazon will sell you out quick

Apple, google and Samsung would all have a 3-4x larger network day 1. Google possibly 6-7x. Every android, every nest thermostat, every chrome cast

Keeping track of what you buy is one thing.. monitoring and mining your entire life routines is something else.

We don't even know what the ramifications of this exposure are. You might not care about the data collected but your insurance company might be interested, or maybe a state actor.. or a "rogue" Amazon employee/executive...

Companies are amoral and therefore should not be trusted to do the right thing with regards to societal and individual well-being..

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Sure, but that’s not all it does. Here’s an example from a documentary I watched on data mining. Actually, I’ll find and link it. Data mining is ALWAYS anti consumer. No company buys the data to lose money.

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