Amazon launched their new product on Oct. 25, 2017: “Amazon Key”. This is a new program targeting Prime members that allows delivery personnel to drop off packages inside of customer homes. Amazon Key will require customers to buy a kit that starts at $250 which includes a security camera that is made by the company, “Amazon Cloud Cam”, and a smart door lock made by Yale or Kwikset.
When a delivery arrives to a customer’s door, the lock helps Amazon verify that the driver is at the correct address at the appropriate time. It then starts recording a video and unlocks the door, capturing the entire visit.
Amazon says it will guarantee protection for customers in the event that a driver damages or steals something from a home. It recommends that homeowners keep pets away from front doors when deliveries are expected. If drivers cannot safely make deliveries, they will leave packages outside.
Amazon claims that Amazon Key will be available in 37 cities in the US starting Nov. 8, 2017 and will be open to its Prime members, meaning customers who pay $99 a year for fast shipping among other benefits.
The Amazon Key aims to grant home access to other services such as “Merry Maids”, a housecleaning provider, and “Rover.com”, a dog-walking website. It can also grant access to trusted friends and family members.
Amazon believes that their new product is a revolutionary step in the world of delivery service. It believes that Amazon Key could be used for much more than just Amazon packages, but also for food delivery. Customers will be able to order food before reaching their home and find it ready on their dining table when they arrive.
Amazon knows what each customer purchases, where they live, and what they are most likely to purchase next and now. Thanks to their new Amazon Cloud Cam, they will be able to know when customers enter and leave their house, who comes in and out of the house, what food you order, and much more.
Amazon will be able to collect all this data on every single individual using the service and sell it to marketing firms, which is only one example of misuse in the goal of expanding market research and targeting more customers.
Amazon Key may seem like an innovative device that will make customers’ lives easier, but many consumers are concerned that Amazon’s new products are becoming a means of spying, and invading the privacy of their home.