Amazon launched a new service today called Amazon Key. The online retailer thinks this new offering will help shut down thieves stealing packages from your door.
This surveillance video shows a woman backing her minivan up the driveway at a home in Puyallup. You see her go the front door and grab a package sitting outside.
Amazon’s newest venture hopes to make this kind of theft a thing of the past. But is the convenience worth the risk? One expert we talked with is skeptical.
"Unfortunately people want their conveniences and so unfortunately quote often they're willing to give up obvious security issues in order to get convenience," said Jerold McGlothlin, President and CEO of 25/7 Protection in Tukwila.
Amazon Key enables what the online retail giant calls in-home delivery. It allows trusted people like their house cleaner, dog walker or friends into their home -as well as an Amazon delivery driver. Once a customer signs up, when there is a delivery, the driver asks for access. Amazon verifies it’s the correct driver, the correct address and the correct time all through an encrypted authentication process.
Once done the Cloud Cam - which is sold along with the app - starts recording and then the door is unlocked. Amazon says no codes or keys are ever given to the individual drivers.
But McGlothlin, who also serves as president of Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound, still sees potential problems.
"Anytime you grant people access to your property, you've granted them access," McGlothlin said. "If something goes wrong, if somebody's there, if somebody doesn't realize who it is, you are now confusing people who does or doesn't belong at your front door, in the middle of the afternoon, when most break-ins occur."
As we see more and more video of packages being stolen, services like Amazon Key are bound to become more popular.
"The package theft is so out of control people are willing to say, let's put it inside your home," McGlothlin said. "I think it would be a far better idea to put it inside a locked secure box outside of your home wherwe it's bolted down."
The service is set to begin Nov. 8 in 37 cities, including the Seattle area. It's is only for the company’s Prime members
The In-Home Kit, which includes a smart lock at the security camera, starts at $249.99.