Amazon’s New Delivery System, Amazon Key, Is a Scary Proposition

By Daniel Barna

Amazon’s never-ending quest to improve delivery convenience for its customers is about to reach a new, terrifying apex. The retail giant is set to debut a revolutionary new system that will make scurrying home to sign for a package, or risk having that package stolen from your front doorstep, a thing of the past.

Amazon Key will allow users to open their front doors remotely so that packages can be dropped off directly inside their homes. And because the notion of giving a stranger access to your home is bound to make some people feel violently uncomfortable, the system also comes equipped with a Cloud security camera, which allows users to watch the delivery from a different location.

That’s where things get dicey. Why would anyone willingly want to let someone inside their own home when no one else is around? People literally spend inordinate amounts of money on security systems to prevent exactly that kind of thing from happening. In anticipation of precisely that kind of a reaction, Amazon has already deployed some of its top brass to dissuade any fears or paranoia that we might have.

In a recent interview, Peter Larsen, Amazon vice president of delivery technology insisted that based on early tests of the system, theft was “not something that happens in practice.” Nonetheless, the camera is meant to ease any concerns that Amazon’s delivery people might run amok in your home.

If something does seem amiss, users can call Amazon’s customer service department and file a claim with the company. “This is not an experiment for us,” Larsen added. “This is a core part of the Amazon shopping experience from this point forward.”

While fans of ultra-convenience might rejoice at the idea of never missing a package delivery again, others will undoubtedly balk at Amazon’s quest for access inside all of our homes. On the one hand, this seems like another giant technological leap towards unburdening us from doing anything that requires more work than just pushing a button. But for those of us with more robust imaginations, it’s not hard to envision this as another step towards a dystopian Big Brother-style society ruled by one or two almighty tech conglomerates who have unfettered control of our lives.

Amazon’s unrelenting desire for world domination is no secret. It’s a corporation first and foremost, one with little to no regard for anything beyond the consolidation of its own power. And now it wants us to willingly agree to grant it the ability to spy on us at will? Sure, there are a bunch of safeguards in place that are theoretically meant to prevent that from happening. But let’s face it: If Amazon wants to circumvent whatever Amazon Key security measures it puts in place, it can. But hey, if it means we get our fancy stuff quicker than ever, what’s a little erosion of privacy?