Amazon Key In-Home is Amazon’s newest
privacy nightmare innovation for Prime members. Basically it involves installing a new smart lock to which Amazon delivery people have access, and which Amazon controls remotely, so that they can deliver things inside your home when nobody else is home. (And we thought the Echo Look, which we wrote about just days ago, was a privacy nightmare!)
What could possibly go wrong?
Says Amazon, in their description of the Amazon Key In-Home service:
“Not at home? Not a problem.
As a Prime member, get your Amazon packages securely delivered just inside your front door. Plus, grant access to the people you trust, like your family, friends, dog walker, or house cleaner – no more leaving a key under the mat.
Amazon Key is exclusively for Prime members in select cities and surrounding areas. To get started, purchase the Amazon Key In-Home Kit, starting at $249.99. The kit includes: the Amazon Cloud Cam (Key Edition) indoor security camera and a compatible smart lock from Kwikset or Yale.”
What’s more, they are partnering with places like Merry Maid, dog-walking service Rover.com, and, says Amazon, “as well as over 1,200 services from Amazon Home Services”, all of whom will be able to come into your house when you’re not home.
So how does it actually work?
On the day of delivery, Amazon will notify you in the a.m. of your four-hour delivery window. Then, says Amazon, “Right before the driver arrives at your door, you will receive an “Arriving Now” notification and you can optionally watch the delivery happening live.”
The driver has a hand-held scanner which sends a request to Amazon to have the door unlocked. Then
Big Brother Amazon turns on the Amazon Cloud Cam security camera, and unlocks the door.
After the delivery driver puts the packages inside your house, they request to have the door relocked. No word on what happens if they don’t make that request.
You will also get a notification when the delivery is complete, and you can watch the video that the Amazon Cloud Cam captures.
If all of this sounds to you like a security and privacy nightmare, well, we agree. If, on the other hand, this sounds like a nifty service with no potential problems, well, you may want to rethink that.
You can read more about this new service at the Amazon’s ‘Getting Started with Amazon Key’ FAQ.