Amazon Key: For When You Feel Like Letting a Stranger Into Your Home When You’re Not There

Amazon Key delivery
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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, 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.

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3 thoughts on “Amazon Key: For When You Feel Like Letting a Stranger Into Your Home When You’re Not There

  1. Given my almost-all-bad experience with Amazon delivery, there is absolutely no chance that this is going to happen for me. And now that I see that the driver has to request that the door be re-locked, this just strikes me as a huge burglary waiting to happen. Even if the door is re-locked, there is nothing to prevent someone from unlocking a window or another door – one camera is just not enough.

    Having had an experience with a home sale where, yes, they have the locked key-box, but that doesn’t stop someone touring the house from unlocking something they shouldn’t, and then going and cleaning out the house, this is just a really bad idea.

    There’s no info on exactly who is liable if something like this happens. Absent that information, I can’t imagine that anyone is stupid enough to sign up for this.

  2. Well, at least you are not handing over a physical key. Although, how much better THIS is…. I do not know.

    And the lock cannot relock itself automatically after “so long as time”? Geez if only they were electronic, computer controlled, internet capable, eh? (Sorry, my sarcasm is dripping.)

    And is there a camera INSIDE to watch what they do?

    And are these “delivery and other workers” properly vetted and bonded?

    But a bond (in itself), means nothing. See Bonding Companies have lawyers. And well, if anyone here knows about that….. Bonding companies do not just hand you a nice big cheque if something goes wrong.

  3. I really don’t think there is anything to comment on regarding this issue. Well, since this IS a comment section, whoever came up with this “brilliant” idea should really see a good lobotomy surgeon as soon as possible. I guess there is the possibility that the inventor really wants to see if the old sayings “A fool and his money are soon parted” or “A sucker is born every minute” are still in effect.

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