Don’t let Amazon become the next tool to invade your privacy

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Don’t let Amazon become the next tool to invade your privacy

Kimberly Wilson, Opinion Editor

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Online shopping giant Amazon recently unveiled a new service called Amazon Key, which will essentially give delivery drivers access to the inside of customers’ homes to drop off packages. Amazon claims this new feature will eliminate the problem of customers not being home when their orders arrive.

This move seems like an eventuality as customers always want their online shopping experience to be as convenient as possible. The line between convenience and practicality has to be drawn somewhere though, and giving a stranger entrance to your house just doesn’t really seem all that practical, to say the least.

The new feature, which is only available to Amazon Prime members, will include the Amazon Key in-home kit, which has a starting price of $249.99. Inside the kit will be the Amazon Cloud Cam (Key Edition) indoor security camera, which you would mount within 25 feet of your front door. It will also include a compatible smart lock from Kwikset or Yale to be installed on the outside of your front door.

According to Amazon, this service will be completely safe and secure as delivery drivers will be thoroughly vetted and have to undergo “comprehensive background checks and motor vehicle records reviews.” Customers will be able to watch the delivery live from the security camera or watch a playback of it later.

All of that sounds well and good, in theory. But are we really going to give total strangers access to our house when we’re not there? Sure, the delivery drivers are being recorded, but when has being recorded ever stopped a thief from taking stuff? That’s what I thought. Also, a background check doesn’t automatically make somebody trustworthy.  

Yes, having your packages left inside your house would be convenient. You could buy a new camera and not have to worry about someone stealing it off your porch, or having to tweak your schedule a bit to make sure you’re home for a delivery. The question is, are we willing to sacrifice privacy for convenience? Allowing a stranger into my house when I’m not there just gives me a weird “I don’t think so” vibe. No matter how safe Amazon says it will be, to us it’s just not worth the risk.

There’s no doubt Amazon Key could bring added convenience to online shopping. Anyone who has ever been waiting forever for that special delivery only to never receive it could almost certainly see the advantages of this new service. However with that being said, the thought of someone we don’t know being inside our house when we’re not there is something we just can’t wrap our minds around.

It’s really up to each individual customer on whether or not they would feel comfortable with giving Amazon the key to their front door. As for us, just leave the box outside, thank you very much.