Amazon is going to let delivery people into our homes

Amazon's new Amazon Key service lets delivery people enter your home to drop off a package.

I'm not sure I'm ready for that, as compelling as it sounds.

Let me play devil's advocate for a moment.

I've been perfectly willing to let Amazon inside my home (and life) in other — more digital — ways. I have an Amazon Echo that allows me to interact with Amazon's services, even ordering products by voice. And I have the Amazon Fire TV, which allows me to stream all sorts of content provided by Amazon.

I just don't think I want a random human walking inside my house when I'm not there.

Amazon Key, which launches Nov. 8, uses a compatible smart lock in tandem with a new Amazon camera. When a delivery is about to arrive, Amazon will send a notification to your phone and then the company will "authorize the delivery and unlock your door," remotely. Thanks to the camera, you'll be able to see the delivery live or watch directly from your phone, and you'll be notified when the door is relocked, Amazon said.

I see the appeal here: It's better to have a package dropped inside your home instead of outside, where it might be rained on, left in the snow, or stolen.

But we're opening a whole can of worms by allowing a human inside our homes when we aren't there: What if he slips and falls? What if Amazon says the package was delivered but it wasn't? What if the dog gets out? What if the delivery person decides to stick around and help themselves to a few items in your home? (I'm not saying delivery people are more likely to do this than anyone else, but it seems bound to happen at some point.) What if someone can hack their way in, pretending to be a delivery person?

Amazon can't be the only company to have thought about trying to get packages safely inside a house, though it's the first with the technology to do so. FedEx, UPS, DHL and other shipping companies must have thought getting inside the home would be the best way to guarantee a delivery. We could, after all, have had some sort of agreement in place to let the FedEx guy use the key under the doormat, but we never got that far. My home is a personal space, and I'm reluctant to give people the key to get inside when I'm not there.

Still, there's something special about Amazon that makes the company seem more harmless than others. Perhaps it's that we love the Prime service, Alexa's helpfulness and the broad array of content it provides us. While I might not be ready to let Amazon inside my home, it's possible the convenience of such a service will force me to let my guard down eventually. Amazon's good at that.

Written by

Todd Haselton


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