Amazon wants to let people into your home to drop-off parcels

Giant online retailer Amazon has introduced its brand new service to stop thieves stealing your parcels from your doorstep: Amazon Key. Instead of leaving your parcel outside, Amazon wants to open your front door to drop off your parcel.

Does this sound like a good idea to you? Technology today can do almost anything, so surely something like this is just another step towards a brighter, more innovative future?

I don’t know about you, but it sounds rather risky to me…

Amazon has always tried to find the most convenient ways for customers to shop and receive its products. With the introduction of amazon prime, customers can usually expect delivery the very next day. Now that same-day delivery and 2-hour delivery services exist, next-day delivery seems almost outdated.

The all new Amazon key service means that you don’t even have to be home; you can remotely allow a complete stranger to deliver your parcel into your home. Using the live stream video camera that comes in the In-Home Kit, you can watch the mailer come into your house to drop something off. You could even let in family, friends and contractors whilst you’re at work or out-and-about.

There are so many obvious risks involved with this plan, but as always, technology simply strides forward and lets us deal with the fallout of problems later on.

To set up the service, you will need the Amazon Key App, a cloud connected video camera, a smart lock that is compatible with Amazon Key and a video storage plan. Being connected to the internet, surely it’s only a matter of time before it’s hacked! Apps can be hacked, and cloud storage can be too (just requires the right skill-set and time).

Amazon Key is accompanied with Amazon Key Happiness Guarantee; a sort-of insurance that can provide a refund and cover related property damages of up to $2,500. Let’s face it – this is somewhat of a measly amount compared to the huge risks involved, and it’s not even guaranteed! The refund and $2,500 will only be paid at Amazon’s discretion.

The Amazon Key In-Home Kit will set you back $200-$250 and is only available in certain cities in the U.S for now, but it’s highly probable that it will soon make its way to the U.K. For companies like Amazon, even data breaches will do little to deter them from expanding this service all over the globe. With a net worth of $175 billion, it can afford to pay up to $2,500 per adverse event that leads to property damage.

But what about data protection?

How much personal information does Amazon need to carry out this service, and what other information is it bound to take in the name of providing an efficient service? Let’s not forget that in this day and age, almost anything and everything can be hacked. How long will it take for hackers to attack the user’s Amazon Key app and let themselves into a deserted home?

Home insurance complications aside, hackers who manage to get in could cause damages and loss worth a lot more than $2,500. How did Amazon even come to the conclusion of offering only around £1,800 worth of cover?

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IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.

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