Would you give a delivery service access to your home? Starting next month, some Amazon shoppers will have that option.
Amazon’s cheerful video presents the new as a simple, convenient way to have your packages dropped off inside your home.
Here’s how it works: for $249 you buy a special smart door lock, along with an in-home wireless camera aimed at the door. When the delivery driver arrives, Amazon gets a notification. The company then activates the camera and unlocks the door remotely, so the driver can open your door and put your package inside. He then steps outside and asks Amazon to relock the door.
You can watch the delivery happen live — or view a video sent later.
Convenient, in theory, sure, but one Twitter user called it “a hilariously bad idea,” another asked, “Convenient or too creepy?” and a third wrote sarcastically, “What could possibly go wrong?”
Cybersecurity expert John Sileo says: hacking.
“The biggest risk is the hackers who get a hold of the database of door codes. You know, quite literally, if they can hack the NSA, they can hack a database of entry codes into an entire block’s worth of homes,” Sileo said. “That part is what scares me, not how Amazon will use it, how the hackers will use it.”
But with 11 million packages stolen every year, Yahoo technology writer and “CBS Sunday Morning” contributor David Pogue has reservations about the program.
“To me, the comparison is not ‘should Amazon be allowed to open the door and drop off a package and possibly then ransack my house?'” he said. “The question is: ‘Is that a better option than leaving my expensive order on my front porch when I’m not home?’ To me, that’s the risk of theft.”
Pogue continues saying, “It would be much easier to steal it off of somebody’s front porch than to spend a year and a half with researchers hacking their system so that they can get into my house and steal something while they’re on camera! It just doesn’t make sense.”
Nonetheless, Pogue says to compare the risks properly.
“So yes, if that’s creepy, then don’t get it,” Pogue told CBS News. “But I’ll have my delivery. You won’t, yours will be stolen.”
The service is available to Amazon Prime members only. The company says if anything goes wrong, they offer a satisfaction guarantee. If you have a home security system, you’ll have to turn it off on the day of the delivery because Amazon says its employees won’t be able to do that.