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Amazon unveiled a new service today that will let its couriers deliver boxes inside your home when you’re not around. If you think that sounds like a bad idea, you’re not the only one.
The company’s new service is called Amazon Key, and it’s essentially a high-tech alternative to leaving a key under your mat.
Here’s how it works: First, customers will need to purchase special equipment before they can enroll in the service, including a compatible smart lock, security camera, and the Key app (Amazon is currently selling $250 bundles).
Prime customers will then select “Amazon Key” delivery at checkout. Note, only Prime-eligible items can be delivered in-home. Like Prime Now, buyers will get a four-hour window for when their package will arrive and will receive a notification once it’s getting close.
The shipping courier will first knock before attempting to open the door. Once it’s established nobody is home, the delivery worker will remotely open the door using the smart lock app and slide the package inside. Amazon emphasizes that its workers are not allowed to enter a home. If you’re not convinced, you can watch the entire process on your phone using Amazon’s Cloud Cam. Amazon says you should avoid using the service if you have pets that could escape through the front door.
Key is designed to reduce lost orders and theft that may occur when boxes are left on someone’s doorstep. As CNET points out, 31 percent of people have experienced package theft, according to a survey from Shorr Packaging.
But losing a box every now and then doesn’t compare to the obvious risk of giving your house keys to a complete stranger. People are taking to Twitter to let Amazon know how they feel about Key, expressing a mix of disbelief, anger, and worry.
The new season of Dateline is brought to you by Amazon Key - bringing stalkers and victims together in a hip new way.— Marie Connor (@thistallawkgirl) October 25, 2017
OH BOY! AMAZON KEY WILL ALLOW AMAZON DELIVERY PEOPLE TO UNLOCK MY DOOR WHEN DELIVERING PACKAGES?! pic.twitter.com/6tDj3akOLw— 『 Daitomodachi』 (@daitomodachi6) October 25, 2017
BREAKING: Amazon package theives rush to apply for jobs in Amazon delivery https://t.co/U0IKnGvkSV— Roy Wood Jr- Ex Jedi (@roywoodjr) October 25, 2017
Just learned about Amazon Key and this was the first thing I thought about pic.twitter.com/ki8h8Q1jtk— Shikki Mizuki (@SonicDahMario) October 25, 2017
I'm excited to watch the 2030 Netflix docudrama about the Amazon Key murders— Larissa Barrett (@larlibarrett) October 25, 2017
Amazon Key is good news for me, the incredibly lazy serial killer— night moves listener (@aseriousmang) October 25, 2017
Many already claim they won’t use the service.
Amazon Key wants a key to your front door NO THANK YOU!— REALMAGAPAC COVEFE FEST SLAYER (@__0HOUR1_) October 25, 2017
Forget it. I see it's trending. Got it. F no.— Dani Klein 🌍🍴 Yeah That's Kosher (@YeahThatsKosher) October 25, 2017
Amazon Key. Oh hell no.— Darlene (@coolmom234) October 25, 2017
Who’s the creep marketing guy who thought of this? Cause it was a guy. No woman would think this would go down good.— Schumi777 (@schumii777) October 25, 2017
Stories Amazon ignored this year:— Charlotte Clymer🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) October 25, 2017
1. Tech hacking and data theft
2. Sexual assault and harassment
3. Sexism in Silicon Valley#AmazonKey
Amazon Key will be available for Prime members at no extra charge (aside from the tech you’ll need to buy) on Nov. 8 in 37 U.S. metro areas.
Phillip Tracy is a former technology staff writer at the Daily Dot. He's an expert on smartphones, social media trends, and gadgets. He previously reported on IoT and telecom for RCR Wireless News and contributed to NewBay Media magazine. He now writes for Laptop magazine.