TECH BYTE: What is Amazon Sidewalk?


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Amazon is out with some new tech, but some say the feature raises privacy concerns.

The company says Amazon Sidewalk helps its gadgets like the Echo and Ring Security Camera work better.

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It’s a low-bandwidth network.

The bridge devices share that Internet bandwidth to provide services to you and your neighbors.

This means even if your WiFi is spotty, your products can still stay connected.

Amazon says the network becomes even stronger when more people participate.

But this still raises concerns for some privacy advocates, since users are automatically enrolled in Sidewalk.

However, Amazon reassures people they shouldn’t worry.

The company says Sidewalk is designed with multiple layers of encryption, so user privacy is protected.

And users don’t receive any information about devices owned by others connected to Sidewalk.

Amazon says the feature is also easy to opt out of. You can update it anytime from the Ring or Alexa smartphone apps.

It may improve your service, but Amazon says Sidewalk is not a replacement for your home WiFi network.

For more information, and a list of all devices that will work with it, go to




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You can watch Emily Cassulo weeknights on News 12 Now starting at 5:30. Emily also does stories on different tech products and issues for Tech Byte, which airs Mondays on News 12 Now. She joined the WDEF news team in September 2016 from News 12’s sister station in Columbus, Mississippi, where she worked as an anchor, producer and reporter. Emily is no stranger to the Volunteer State. Before moving to Mississippi, she worked at WBBJ-TV, covering crime and severe weather throughout West Tennessee. She loves living in Chattanooga, and exploring what the Scenic City has to offer. Emily is a Florida native, graduating from the University of Central Florida with a degree in broadcast journalism and minor in political science. While in college, Emily worked part-time as a reporter/web producer at News/Talk 96.5 WDBO. She broke her first news story there, which made national headlines, and covered the 2010 Central Florida congressional elections and the high-profile Casey Anthony trial. When she’s not busy reporting, Emily enjoys shopping, reading, playing the piano, and spending time with family and friends. Feel free to e-mail her at if you have any story ideas or just want to say ‘Hi.’