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Amazon Wants to Let Strangers Into Your House

Amazon has announced a home automation bundle called Amazon Key that combines a smart lock with the new Amazon Cloud Cam. The sales pitch is that this hardware will enable Amazon delivery people to unlock your front door so they can leave packages inside your house — you can watch the process on the webcam. Of course, Amazon recommends disabling your home security system on days you expect a delivery and doesn’t recommend using the service if you have a pet. What could go wrong? (How long do you have?) File this one under “Not just no, but hell no!”favicon follow link

 

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Jeff Porten  An apple icon for a Friend of TidBITS 2017-10-25 13:44
I don't need a $250 gizmo to unlock my door, but what I could use is some kind of GPS tracking of my shipments so that their arrivals aren't "sometime between 10 AM and 8 PM."
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Josh Centers  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2017-10-25 14:43
UPS offers that

https://www.ups.com/us/en/help-center/sri/follow-my-delivery.page
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Larry Deckel  An apple icon for a TidBITS Contributor 2017-10-30 20:09
UPS's follow my delivery is a sham. It tells you where your package is SUPPOSED to be... but in reality, they don't know. I've had so many UPS packages that didn't show up as scheduled -- and UPS has explained to me that it doesn't track your actual package, but the 'container' bin that it is supposed to be in! They really don't track your package in detail except at a few points. (I've had overnight deliveries lost that UPS says they have no idea where it is -- and then they deliver it months later! I was horrified to find that this isn't a true tracking system).
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Herb Schlickenmaier  2017-10-25 16:20
The idea that Amazon is suggesting to customers to ACTUALLY allow themselves in my house is horrifying. (Nothing against the delivery folks, I bet they're really good people, but c'mon!) I'm guessing that from their company perspective, however, they've been letting themselves into my electronic house for years, so why not let themselves into my real house?
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Anonymous  An apple icon for a TidBITS Angel 2017-10-25 16:49
In a fit of exuberance, Amazon accidentally sold its legal department. It was listed as used, and the perceived value very low, but still, thanks to free shipping with Prime, someone snatched it up!
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Josh Centers  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2017-10-25 18:38
See, this is another reason I say not just no, but hell no. I'm willing to bet that the ToS is a mile and a half long, so if UPS man goes berserk and sets my house on fire, I'll have no recourse. No thanks.
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Cody Bryan III  2017-10-26 14:21
I am a retired Letter Carrier from the United States Postal Service. I was always leery about entering someones home. I guess my question is, Do you trust a Billionaire Class Jeff Bezos? I do not.
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A laughable idea, IMHO, but, I've heard some say they can't wait for this service. ...Proof, there's always 2 sides.

I wonder about Amazon's liability in case of an illegal home invasion, by some thief (following the Amazon delivery truck) holding-up the delivery person for the tech tool used for legal entry and then, illegally entering. If Amazon has no insured liability in this scenario, then, this service is a really, really bad idea and anyone subscribing to it, is simply foolhardy.
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Randy Spydell  An apple icon for a TidBITS Angel 2017-10-27 11:19
I have had a post office box in the various places I've lived for over 40 years. I do not even want my US Mail (envelopes or packages) delivered to a roadside mailbox or an unlocked box on my front porch. While it may not be 100% secure (I've got a story on this one), I think that having my envelopes and packages in the post office until I show up to pick them up is the way to go. Apparently others do too, as several years ago the USPS adopted a cooperative attitude with UPS, Fedex, DHL and others and they have adopted "Street Style Addressing" for those of us with post office boxes. Search the web for explanations, or go to

http://ribbs.usps.gov/mtcsa/documents/tech_guides/PBSAGuide.pdf

for the most recent USPS info. I think this would take care of the Amazon Key issue. Of course, if U.S. residents sought PO Boxes in droves, there would be a capacity problem at your local post office, and like the National Parks, they'd raise the rates substantially to cover the increased costs. So don't tell too many folks about this.
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Josh Centers  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2017-10-27 06:50
That's interesting to know! I personally use a private mailbox service for all of my mail. That way, very few people know my physical address, I don't have to worry about stolen packages, and my mailbox at home isn't constantly crammed full of junk mail.
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