Home delivery is driving in a whole new direction. Amazon Prime recently announced that packages could now be delivered inside your home.
Amazon Key is a new program for Prime members who don't want their deliveries left on the doorstep. Security expert and former police captain Isabella Maldonado warns what to keep in mind when shopping for convenience over safety.
For some, it can be hard to decide because we’ve all seen countless crimes happening here in Arizona and across the country in the case of “porch pirates” who steal your packages.
“There is an issue with people stealing packages -- what we call porch pirates -- and it usually tends to spike during the holiday season,” Maldonado said.
She said that tackling a problem like that, which reportedly affects a ballpark of 23 million Amazon customers, can be tough.
“It looks like they're bending over backwards to try to make it as secure as possible," Maldonado said, "and it also would appear that they're being responsive to the issue of stolen packages, which is pervasive."
Key would allow an employee to go inside your home to drop off your packages, rather than leaving them outside.
For a one-time fee of $250, Prime customers can buy the Amazon Key kit. It comes with an Amazon Cloud Cam and "smart lock" to detect when a driver arrives, enters then exits the home. According to Maldonado, there’s just one problem.
“Any kind of technology there could possibly be a glitch," she said. "Perhaps the video feed won’t work or something like that. You never can be 100 percent sure -- nothing is foolproof."
Maldonado said if you don't want your packages left out or strangers in your home, try a third option.
“If you have a trusted neighbor and you're expecting a very important package, you could ask a trusted neighbor to pick it up for you or to keep an eye out for it,” she said.
No matter how vetted the employee, there's always a risk when you let someone in your home. You just don't know.
“Whenever the human element is involved, anything can happen," Maldonado said, "and we have certainly seen that in every type of profession where people who have passed security clearances and later ended up getting in some kind of trouble."
Meanwhile, Amazon officials say they expect Prime members who regularly experience package theft will consider it, but most others will pass.
The in-home option will go live on Nov. 8 in 37 cities and some surrounding areas. Plus, the system set-up is offered free of charge to customers who don't want to install the lock and camera themselves.
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