Amazon announced on October 25th that it would released a new service to bring even more convenience to your life, though you might not like the trade off. They’re calling the service Amazon Key and it grants access to the inside of your home to delivery people, thereby ensuring your package doesn’t get taken off your front door step. Another attractive byproduct of Amazon Key is that you would no longer have to leave a key under your mat and authorized people like a housekeeper or dog walker can still get in.
The starting cost is $250 for Amazon Key, which would cover payment for the Cloud Cam, an Amazon Key compatible smart lock, and installation. The way deliveries would work under Amazon Key is you would receive a four hour window instead of the usual all day window for when you can expect the package to be delivered. When the courier is at your door you receive an “arriving now” alert and an option to watch the delivery happen live.
If no one is home to answer, the driver will request to unlock your door with the Amazon scanner, Amazon confirms everything is in order, turns on the Cloud Cam, and unlocks your door. The camera has a green LED lights come on when recording, and only stores video in the cloud for 24 hours. There is the option of a monthly plan that that lets you view playback for up to 30 days.
In the event that your property was damaged or you were unsatisfied with the delivery, Amazon offers a “Happiness Guarantee.” There is no word on what that actually means but if we had to guess, Amazon would take financial responsibility for any stolen or damaged items that occurred during the delivery, providing there is convincing evidence.
It does seem inauspicious to hand over the keys to our home and install a camera that could conceivably be accessed by outside forces, after all did we expect to have our Samsung televisions to spy on us, or put tape on our webcams. Ultimately, most people have are willing to trade potential privacy infringement for convenience, and it will be interesting to see how far people are willing to go Starting November 8th, when Amazon Key first becomes available.