Amazon has been rolling out its new ‘Amazon Key’ service across the USA over the past few months and many commentators have displayed a high level of distrust in the retail giant’s new scheme.
Twelve years after they launched their Prime service, Amazon is once again hoping to change the way people shop online. Alongside their experimental drone delivery services being tested in Cambridge, Amazon have released Amazon Key to make deliveries more convenient and to avoid those dreaded visits to the post office to pick up your packages.
Amazon Key will allow delivery drivers into customer’s homes to drop off parcels in the latest innovation in ‘Internet of Things’ technologies. Using a combination of ‘smart locks’ and cloud-connected CCTV cameras, Amazon is hoping to allay the fears of consumers who feel uneasy at the prospect of strangers coming into their homes when they are away. Delivery drivers would receive a single-use access code to gain access to the recipient’s home, place the delivery inside and close the door behind them, all whilst being filmed by a specially placed ‘smart camera’ which would then send the delivery video to the recipient’s smartphone. Customers also have the option of watching the delivery live on their smartphones.
Whilst this sounds safe in theory, and whilst Amazon’s VP of Delivery Technology has told press that theft is ‘not something that happens in practice’, shoppers are still right to be wary of this technology. As Amazon says, it probably is unlikely that delivery drivers would attempt any burglary in full view of their employer’s cameras, the security concerns stem from the vulnerability of the locks themselves. Amazon key is designed to work with Kwikset and Yale smart locks, which are definitely reputable, but the problem comes when the locks are connected to insecure networks and other insecure devices. If your network also hosts smart TVs or smart fridges, hackers can disrupt your whole network, including your smart locks and cameras. This would allow thieves to simply walk into your home, undetected.
To conclude, whilst Amazon’s new technology could save consumers time, it also comes with a lot of risks. Until the technology evolves into a more secure form, the risks far outweigh the benefit of not having to go to the Post Office. Nevertheless, anyone still wishing to make use of smart locks should always get them installed by an NSI qualified security professional to ensure that all networks are secure and that the locks are installed properly.
Thorne Access and Security Limited installs, services and maintains a variety of access control, CCTV, intercom and electronic locking systems. Thorne’s access control systems protect premises from unauthorised entry, are installed to British and European standards and are supplied with NSI certificates. Thorne installs equipment from a wide range of leading manufacturers including Urmet, ACT, Paxton, Videx and Avigilon.
All of Thorne’s security systems are installed and maintained by its team of fully qualified engineers and provide peace of mind to home and business owners across Lancashire and West Yorkshire. Thorne utilises the latest technologies to protect your family or business and also offer monitored CCTV systems to keep your property safe.
For more information on our security systems, contact us here or call on 0330 0249 651.