Amazon flips the switch on Amazon Sidewalk; CT’s AG Tong expresses privacy concerns


(WTNH) — Ready or not, Amazon is about to flip the switch on Amazon Sidewalk, a new feature that will link smart home devices.

Why would we want that? Well, say your Echo speaker loses its Wi-Fi connection. Sidewalk can more easily get you connected again.

Not sold on it? Neither is Connecticut Attorney General William Tong. He told News 8 he has some concerns. “I encourage you to think about your own usage, what devices you have. Talk with your family.”

Beginning Tuesday, these devices will be automatically opted-in. Amazon Sidewalk connects your Alexa devices with your neighbor’s to strengthen Wi-Fi. Amazon is expanding its service to include many more devices.

RELATED: Amazon Sidewalk will share your internet connection. Here’s how to opt out

The important thing to know is that you can choose to opt-out. If not, what you are doing is sharing a portion, albeit small we are told, to this new system. Attorney General Tong is asking people to weigh the pros and cons before they decide because he’s concerned about consumer privacy and protection.

“Connecticut had the first data privacy unit in any Attorney General’s office anywhere thanks to George Jepsen. The House and Senate have just passed a major overhaul of our state’s data privacy laws to give me more authority and ability to protect consumers here in Connecticut.”  

Right now, Tong said, he is acting on his own. He said he is keeping a close eye on what Amazon does to keep people safe.

“And if I see something that doesn’t smell right, I’m gonna investigate and take action” he said.

The bottom line is that if you don’t want to be part of Sidewalk, you don’t have to be.

“Broadband costs money and if Amazon’s gonna use a little piece of that broadband however small, that hits our bottom line.”

For more information on how to enable or disable Amazon Sidewalk on your account click here.

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