Amazon Key: Great Idea or Security Breach?


‘Amazon Key’ – was announced recently. It is a service that is being trialled in America – allowing Amazon couriers to remotely unlock your front door through amazon ‘smart lock’ and leave your delivery safely inside. Starting at $249.99, the kit includes the Amazon Cloud Cam, indoor security camera and a compatible smart lock from Kwikset or Yale.

The Amazon Key app sends you notifications when your parcel has been safely delivered and allows you to remotely unlock and lock your door wherever you are – as well as securely share gate codes or apartment building codes to your courier should you need to. Amazon is also offering free installation of the kit.

The new technology has obviously created noise and brought the issue of security into question. Amazon assures consumers that the service is only available through ‘Amazon logistics’ courier service – meaning not just any old DPD driver can get in your house, it has to be an Amazon-approved driver, with the appropriate background checks in place. As well as this, if you do not feel comfortable with the ‘in-home’ delivery happening at any point – you can ‘block access’ through the app, and the delivery will be left in a safe place instead.

The kit does eradicate the problem of missing a package – which we know all too well can be irritating. We’ve all felt the excitement when the dispatch email comes through, and we know that when we get home, there’ll be a package waiting for us on the porch ready to be ripped open and reveal what we’ve wasted our money on this week – but, alas, when we get home the driver has decided that in fact, the ‘safe-place’ is not safe enough, or just hasn’t bothered to read our request that our package be left there. It is a heartbreaking moment, and more importantly, it means that the inflated next-day delivery price we paid last night is no longer so justified, as we now have to spend more time and money chasing around to collect said parcel.

All in all, personally – I would use the Amazon Key service, I think it is a great way to ensure that those all important and not-so-important packages are there waiting patiently for us like a loyal dog when we get home. If you’re feeling iffy – all of the necessary security precautions have been put in place by the ever-trusted Amazon anyway and if there was anything dodgy going on, there’s a security camera there ready to record it, you can even watch your home be robbed live from work as some light lunch-time entertainment if you wanted (who needs Netflix).

The cost of the kit is also quite reasonable, to buy a smart lock separately – you are looking at about $100 for similar quality. Also, a wi-fi ‘home cam’ streaming remotely to your phone from market leader ‘Nest’ is around $100-200, for the same service quality. Overall, by choosing Amazon Key, you are making a saving of approximately $50, and you get the kit installed for free!

Amazon Key is currently only being rolled out in select US cities, but no doubt Amazon will have its way with us all and make the service available worldwide in no time. Until then, happy shopping.

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