Too Close for Comfort?

In light of recent events, including the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal, it is safe to say there have been growing concerns regarding privacy across the digital landscape. However new technologies created by global giant Amazon, have decided to put this notion of privacy to the test, by getting closer to consumers personal lives than ever before.

Two new Amazon service, in particular, has called the notion of privacy into question. Both of these systems aim to alleviate problems with “packages being damaged outside or, worse, stolen”  . Close to 1/3 of Americans, claim that they have had a package stolen from outside there home.

The first of these is the Amazon Key, which was released in October last year. The

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Amazon Key Kit

the technology works by attaching a compatible Yale smart lock that allows Amazon delivery driver access to the customer’s door with a universal key. The $250 kit also includes a Cloud Cam home security camera which is to be installed within 25 feet of your front door. Customers receive a 4-hour notification warning prior to delivery, as well as an alert when the delivery is being made, which can be streamed live through the camera to the amazon key app. The delivery driver is then able to discreetly drop the package inside the door and the door automatically relocks after it has been received, ensuring that both your house and the goods are both protected.

 

As an expansion of this technology, Amazon has also announced that this technology will also be able to be used on cars. The technology works in a similar way to the Amazon Key but lacks the feature of the cloud Cam system. Instead, the program allows packages to be delivered to wherever the car is, which can include at work or when a customer is away from home.

Although this new technology is convenient and helps with the safe delivery of products, there have been a number of mixed reviews. “Worry about a creepy driver turned out to just be the beginning of Amazon Key’s problems,” said Geoffrey Fowler, a Washington Times Journalist. He believes that by giving installing Amazons lock, it gives them power over your front door, with access code having to be sent to family and friend that need access to the door. Furthermore, with the prevalence of computer hacking occurring recently, could it only be a matter of time before thieves are able to gain access to these locks?

So I will leave you, the readers, this to ponder. Is the trade-off worth the ability to ensure packages get safely delivered or is this technology overstepping the boundaries of privacy in our personal lives?

 

Ellen

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