back to article Knock, knock? Oh, no one there? No problem, Amazon will let itself in via your IoT smart lock

To keep thieves from stealing packages, Amazon wants to open your front door so it can drop off stuff inside. The e-commerce and cloud behemoth on Wednesday introduced Amazon Key, a service that allows Prime members in certain cities to surveil and remotely open their homes. Amazon envisions Key as a way for customers to …

  1. Roopee
    Meh

    What could possibly go wrong?

    So many points of failure and risk...

    1. Oh Homer Silver badge
      Flame

      I must be in the "Beta" programme

      I live in a muddy field surrounded by sheep and several hundred square miles of bugger all else, so I tend not to bother locking my door. The sheep are fully aware of this and capitalise on it at every opportunity. However, one of them must have told Amazon, because an item I purchased recently was delivered directly into my hallway, while I was still in the house (but sleeping).

      Frankly I find this even more unnerving than that other awful idea where my next-door neighbour is arbitrarily designated as the custodian of all my undeliverables, potentially including some of an extremely personal nature.

      1. 404 Silver badge

        Re: I must be in the "Beta" programme

        Put out cookies and milk to placate the delivery troll/elf - he/she knows if you've been naughty or nice.

      2. Muscleguy Silver badge

        Re: I must be in the "Beta" programme

        Our problem here in the 'burbs delivery people who tap lightly on the door, don't ring the bell and so the first I know of an attempted delivery is the sound of the card coming through the letter slot.

        They see no car in the driveway (my wife commutes) so assume nobody is home and act without bothering to determine otherwise.

        Not all of them do this but enough for it to be annoying. Having to pursue a delivery person down the drive waving the card at them is annoying.

        1. Baldrickk Silver badge

          Re: I must be in the "Beta" programme

          Even with the car there, there have been plenty of times when I am waiting for a package, and I therefore wait on the ground floor with a laptop (as opposed to my office space two stories up) to ensure I can hear the doorbell.

          I then go to make myself a drink and find a note hanging from the letterbox.

          Subsequent testing ensures that no, the hardwired doorbell system has not run out of batteries or inexplicably failed...

          I think that all delivery drivers have developed either a phobia of, or an allergic reaction to doorbells

          Royal Mail / ParcelForce seem to be the worst at actually ringing the doorbell.

          I guess it doesn't help that my house seems to be at the end of nearly all delivery routes, where the driver finds it quicker to write the note and deliver that through the letterbox, so they can jolly off home as early as possible, than to actually do their job and deliver the package. More than once now, I've heard the van pull up, seen them filling in the slip while still in the van, and met them as they are walking down the path, slip in hand sans package.

          To say it's frustrating is an understatement. Especially when it's a next day delivery for a reason, and time has been taken off work to ensure that I am around to accept the delivery.

          1. Baldrickk Silver badge

            Re: I must be in the "Beta" programme

            I ended up mounting an old smartphone to the peephole of my front door, running an app incorporating a motion sensor and ip stream for the camera. When it makes a detection, it instantly alerts me via my current phone, from which I can check the feed and see who and what is going on.

            It also acts as a handy screen for the peephole, so I don't need to lean in and squint.

            So basically a free version of what Amazon are flogging, that cost me nothing to implement but an old phone that was picking up dust, minus the electronic lock.

            As I wouldn't want to open my front door to strangers while I am away, it's not missing anything I would want.

          2. DropBear Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: I must be in the "Beta" programme

            To be fair, much of the blame rests squarely on the shoulders of delivery companies who squeeze the life out of their "agents" for One More Delivery per day while paying them almost nothing (well, at least that's how it works around here). Which does not excuse the many shitty things delivery-people do, but hopefully at least explains why improving any of it is flat out impossible while those conditions persist.

            At any rate, the whole idea of "waiting" for any delivery is blatantly absurd* (you seriously want me to take the day off from my job each time?) - not to even mention complications when somebody IS at home but your package is of a private nature for whatever reason (mind, gutter, out of, please - it could simply be a surprise present. Of course that's not what it is! But it could be...).

            There SHOULD be some better way to handle this! Not saying that Amazon's idea is it, though. But I can only cheer any attempt to improve the current disgraceful state of affairs, especially as it becomes more and more clear that traditional shopping is unambiguously dead, and we need some vaguely civilized way to receive deliveries.

            * well of course I do order stuff to work instead! Which works mostly ok** with couriers, except the thing is the official postal service does not deliver at all and is only willing to hand over stuff against a matching home address on your state-issued ID. Now guess what happens when you try to buy something second-hand and the inbred hill-billy on the other end ignores your explicit, specially emphasized request to ship the stuff to your work address with one of the many courier firms, not the postal service, at my expense... Yes, hilarity ensues.

            ** that leaves the minor matter of being unable to receive any international on-line purchases, considering I can't order to work on those due to a) credit card companies often insisting on delivery to the billing address only and b) stuff sent via the same eg. "Deutsche Post" arriving randomly completely out of my control either by a courier firm or the postal service - one of them never finding me home, the other not bothering to actually deliver the actual notice when/_if_ the package does eventually arrive roughly fours-five weeks later from three countries away...

            1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
              Joke

              Re: I must be in the "Beta" programme

              much of the blame rests squarely on the shoulders of delivery companies who squeeze the life out of their "agents" for One More Delivery per day

              I've occasionally noticed a delivery driver waiting out in the driveway and not actually delivering anything. When confronted one mentioned that the delivery time window hadn't arrived yet. When I asked if that was being delivered by someone else I got a very odd look ;)

            2. Stoneshop Silver badge

              Re: I must be in the "Beta" programme

              To be fair, much of the blame rests squarely on the shoulders of delivery companies who squeeze the life out of their "agents" for One More Delivery per day while paying them almost nothing (well, at least that's how it works around here).

              The most notorious one with the highest number of failures to deliver at our previous address was also the one who paid their drivers the lowest per delivery. To top it off, they would try only once (other parcel services try at least one more time), and their pickup point was on an industrial estate on the other side of the next city, some 30km away if you took the route right through that city's centre, and about 40km if you took a more convenient route. The more blatant excuses included "the driver was told no-one lived there any more" (well, we did, for three years already and for two more after that), and "driver couldn't find the address" (it was a main road into the city centre and the street number was nearly half a meter high, over what was easily seen from the road as being the main entrance).

              1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: I must be in the "Beta" programme

                "To top it off, they would try only once"

                It's worth remembering that the sender is the customer and they may only be paying a minimal fee for a single delivery attempt. I use couriers on a daily basis for work, we've used three over the last 10 years and all offer varying prices for varying levels of service, the cheapest usually being 2-3 days, single delivery attempt. Standard service is usually next day, carded if no one to take delivery with a second attempt the next day or unless the addressee makes contact from the first card and either arranges to collect from the depot or gives further instructions for the second attempt, eg will be in certain day.time or authorises leave with neighbour/round the back, in the porch etc.

      3. Triggerfish

        Re: I must be in the "Beta" programme

        next-door neighbour is arbitrarily designated as the custodian of all my undeliverables

        I used to work for the council one of the duties was taking calls for bins, the amount of delivery people who thought a bin was a good place to store stuff, calls from people asking if you can go through the dump for an item.

        1. David Nash Silver badge

          Re: I must be in the "Beta" programme

          This has always mystified me. Fortunately it has never happened to me but what is wrong with these people who think a bin is for leaving something you want to keep safe? Do they not have bins in their own houses? Do they not know what they are for?

        2. Stoneshop Silver badge

          Re: I must be in the "Beta" programme

          the amount of delivery people who thought a bin was a good place to store stuff,

          This calls for a SmartBinTM (Internet of Trash?), able to sense non-trash being deposited and, depending on the feature level, just refuses to be emptied into the garbage truck (Bronze), rolls back into the yard away from the Designated Bin Pickup Spot (Silver), or, at the Gold Level, moves into the yard, signals a robot arm to extract the package, then moves back to allow the remaining contents to be collected by the council.

          1. hoola

            Re: I must be in the "Beta" programme

            Where this will score, just like all the other social media Internet shite is the generation that believe everything tech is great and do not have any concerns about privacy or the stupidity of what they do.

            How often so those idiots post when and where they are going away?

            The down side is that it is always someone else's fault or responsibility. The whole Amazon thing is just another addiction with big profits at the top of the money tree, bugger all at the bottom and an endless supply of buyers hitting "Buy".

            Quite how your insurance company will assess this when you inevitably get burgled with no broken door or window because the crap lock has been hacked or left open.

    2. TonyHoyle

      Re: What could possibly go wrong?

      The much simpler solution of a box with a lock for which the amazon bloke has the key (or combination) doesn't seem to have been considered.

      But that wouldn't net amazon 250 quid plus 20 quid a month subscription fees.

      1. Haku

        Re: What could possibly go wrong?

        Or an enclosed porch so you have two lockable front doors.

        Don't forget the obligatory CCTV.

      2. Stoneshop Silver badge

        Re: What could possibly go wrong?

        The much simpler solution of a box with a lock for which the amazon bloke has the key (or combination) doesn't seem to have been considered.

        A physical key can be copied (even by simply photographing it), and needs to be carried by the assigned driver. And if there's more than a dozen or so deliveries per run going into an Amazon Delivery Box, a driver will want a single key that fits all locks, or at best just a few keys. Even more so if there are several hundred or more of those boxes in a city, so that otherwise the dispatcher would need to make sure the right set of keys gets handed out to each driver. And with one key potentially fitting a rather large number of locks they become more attractive to nick or copy.

        So the better option appears to be an electronic lock with single-use codes that the owner can hand out to delivery services (not limited to Amazon), with possibly even a confirmation being requested from the owner as the code is entered on the box.

        1. Kiwi Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: What could possibly go wrong?

          So the better option appears to be an electronic lock with single-use codes that the owner can hand out to delivery services (not limited to Amazon), with possibly even a confirmation being requested from the owner as the code is entered on the box.

          Better still, people could support their local stores - who in most cases would pay staff who would be the people who would shop at the places said Amazon customer works at/owns. What goes around comes around, and it's better to make the money go around locally so those businesses you support can in turn support your own business.

    3. FuzzyWuzzys Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: What could possibly go wrong?

      Hmmm, I wonder I mean a guy in trackie bottoms and a t-shirt with a rented white van full of Amazon parcels. Somehow I think I might come home to find my latest Amazon parcel and bugger all else left in my house!!

    4. macjules Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: What could possibly go wrong?

      It has "Happiness" in the care package title. Nothing can possibly go wrong when you have "Happiness" in a meaningless sentence.

    5. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: What could possibly go RIGHT?

      I think listing what could go wrong would fill a book of its own (probably never to be sold through Amazon), so let's see what is right with this idea.

      ..

      No, can't think of anything. Anyone?

      :)

      1. Kiwi Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: What could possibly go RIGHT?

        so let's see what is right with this idea.

        ..

        No, can't think of anything. Anyone?

        Well, it does provide new ways for those who are both cash-short and morals-short to get teh newshiny a lot easier!

        And by reading some of the tech stuff on El Reg, including the article a while back from a physical penetration tester, I can think of a few ways that the package might be able to be used to mess with the home security - but no, of course something placed in the home couldn't possible mess with wireless networked alarm components (eg knocking them offline or feeding guff data) that have the most wonderous IOT security imaginable, with the package being held close to a RFID/NFC/Bluetooth door lock while the communications are taking place.. No, no way at all I could devise and send a package that could be a "package deal" and "turnkey solution" for disabling security.. And I'm not even that clued up on this stuff and already can see how it could be a bit of fun for those so inclined. (my wallet doesn't let me buy the toys I want to teach people about the risks of this sort of stuff :( )

  2. djstardust Silver badge

    Screw that .....

    Unless all drivers are criminal record checked as a minimum. Can't see that happening as courier driving seems to be a popular pastime for criminals getting back to work.

    Whoever thinks up this utter shit would fit in better at Microsoft ........

    1. DeeCee

      Re: Screw that .....

      a double edged sword -ex cons need some work so they are not forced back to a life of crime/being homeless

      but yeah, wouldnt go for this unless i had double locked doors

    2. wallaby

      Re: Screw that .....

      Where the F@@@ in this has Microsoft been mentioned ?????

      Some people have nothing better to do with their lives than whine about MS all day - lets try someone else.... hmmm..... leave a kit of lock parts on the doorstep and see if someone can put them together without having to subject yourself to the sneers of the local locksmith community by asking anything they consider to be too simple...... or buy a £1300 lock that they will sell a newer version of every 6 months that you just have to buy.......

      SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

      TEDIOUSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Screw that .....

        Where the F@@@ in this has Microsoft been mentioned ?????

        But he's right, though. This absolute disregard of your security needs could have come straight from the offices of Microsoft*.

        :)

        * I could have mentioned Google in this as well, but that would lower the troll value.

        And he's still right. :p

  3. ma1010 Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    NO, thank you

    That is all.

    1. Ledswinger Silver badge

      Re: NO, thank you

      NO, thank you

      So polite, and deserving of my upvote.

      But here was me thinking "Oi, Amazon! What a fucking stupid idea!, you can piss off if you think you're EVER having that sort of control. I wouldn't trust you fuckers as far as I could throw the tax-dodging lot of you."

      But I suppose we're singing from the same hymn sheet, if you can find a hymn book with my colourful language.

      1. DropBear Silver badge
        Pirate

        Re: NO, thank you

        I swear I have that hymn book somewhere. Hmmm, lemme see... *shuffle shuffle* "Soli Deo Gloria", nope... *shuffle shuffle* "Misa Criolla", naaah... *shuffle shuffle* "What should we do with a drunken sailor" aye, that be the one...!

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

          Re: NO, thank you

          I was thinking of the hymn that had something to do with something in the rigging and Captain's daughters.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Inspired

    Here are some items inspired by the things our driver just nicked from your house...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Inspired

      Inspired by? It's a straight replacement market. And then their driver can steal it again, an they'll flog you another. Amazon: The gift that keeps on taking.

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Inspired

      Here are some items inspired by the things our driver just nicked from your house...

      Or, as in my recent cases - trying to buy an all-in-one printer via Amazon.

      The first one (an HP) gets given to the courier and somehow fails to be delivered. Even now (a month later) ius still listed on their tracking site as "out for delivery" Full refund from Amazon

      The second one (a Brother, ordered as new) turns up. I open the box and it's immediately obvious that it isn't new. I check and no, it's most definately not new (none of the transport tape/masking is in place, already has paper in the tray). Added to that, it's faulty (registration errors on self-check and, when I get past that, only prints in yellow). Request replacement. Courier turns up to collect, my wife signs to say it's been picked up. One week later, no notification from Amazon that a replacement is being sent so I ring up (having eventually found out how to contact them via phone - I'd left several delivery feedback notes with no action at all) and go through the painful process of getting my money back.

      So, I'll give courier + Amazon a miss, thank you. New printer is coming from a local Argos shop..

      1. Kiwi Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Inspired

        So, I'll give courier + Amazon a miss, thank you. New printer is coming from a local Argos shop..

        Just imagine all the inconvenience and aggravation you could've saved yourself if you'd supported your local stores rather than some other company.....

    3. Eddy Ito Silver badge

      Re: Inspired

      I think the whole service was inspired by Walmart restocking your fridge.

      Somehow I get the impression that this is more about keeping tabs on the drivers to make sure they aren't duffing off most of the day. I can see some interesting conversations back at the delivery hub like "how come it regularly takes you 45 minutes to go from the Johnson's house to the Smith's which is only four doors down?" and "Hmm, given their recent purchases the Johnson's must be expecting another baby."

  5. Len Goddard

    In the words of a well known sportsman

    You have got to be kidding!

    1. DJO Silver badge

      Re: In the words of a well known sportsman

      Close but no cigar. The words I think you are thinking of were:

      "You cannot be serious!"

  6. bexley

    What could possibly go wrong?

    This is on of the stupidest things that I have ever heard.

    The only sensible way that this could work out is if the drivers can only open a secured delivery area in your property, such as a mail box big enough to take a package. A kind of DMZ for your home if you like.

    Letting them have a key to your house? I almost do not believe that this is a real story.

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: What could possibly go wrong?

      A kind of DMZ for your home if you like

      I think that's presently called "a nearby Amazon delivery point", which works quite well..

  7. fidodogbreath Silver badge

    Amazon insists those delivering its packages "are thoroughly vetted, with comprehensive background checks and motor vehicle records reviews."

    Just like ride sharing companies.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      So presumably they're going to stop using Hermes in the UK for deliveries?

      1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge

        Or Yodel

        Or any of the other "gig" couriers.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But if they steal anything are they not going to be on camera?

    If said driver that enters home and does steal anything they are going to be on camera (as that is part of the Amazon Key system)

    Plus I assume the one time pass code would have only been known to the delivery driver.

    Would be a quick delivery to jail for the courier in that case

    If thieves want to break into your house, a door lock will probably not stop them anyway.

    Amazon Locker is probably a better compromise and works well now.

    1. SImon Hobson Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: But if they steal anything are they not going to be on camera?

      ... they are going to be on camera (as that is part of the Amazon Key system)

      Lets see, video stored on Amazon's systems, video allegedly shows Amazon employee (or contractor) up to no good, customer claim is going to cost Amazon money. Hmm, so absolutely no incentive for the video to be found to have failed at just the right moment so there's no evidence to backup the claim !

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: But if they steal anything are they not going to be on camera?

      They have that Amazon Locker thing at the Whole Foods in Sonoma. According to employees there, nobody has ever used it, and nobody but me has even asked about it. Sounds bloody useless to me.

      1. rmason Silver badge

        Re: But if they steal anything are they not going to be on camera?

        @Jake

        My local petrol station has the amazon lockers.

        Admittedly i'm hardly sat there all day, but I never see anyone using it apart from people like engineers picking up kit for the day (heating/gas/plumber/ePOS bloke) etc.

        They definitely serve a function though, but they don't seem to be any more convenient (to the average person) than either having someone home or simply re-arranging delivery.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: But if they steal anything are they not going to be on camera?

          Admittedly i'm hardly sat there all day, but I never see anyone using it apart from people like engineers picking up kit for the day (heating/gas/plumber/ePOS bloke) etc.

          The problem you have with spotting someone is that it's *very* quick to pick something up. It's only slow the first time when you have to work out how it works, but the next time you'll have your code ready. It literally only takes seconds to feed your code to the terminal, see the right door open and take your delivery.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: But if they steal anything are they not going to be on camera?

        They have that Amazon Locker thing at the Whole Foods in Sonoma. According to employees there, nobody has ever used it

        I've used the system, both for Amazon and for other delivery services and I find it to work rather well, especially when I'm traveling and need a delivery away from home. They are typically stationed in large shopping malls and halls at mass public transport (trains etc) so they're easy to get to.

    3. BobJ

      Re: But if they steal anything are they not going to be on camera?

      A good old fashioned lock (among other things) will deter most burglars, burglars look for easy vulnerable targets and if your house is too much effort, if the risk is too high and the reward low/unknown they will usually go next door. Most won’t kick doors in or break windows because that makes a lot of noise and risks attracting unwanted attention. The kind who do kick doors in and do the high stakes violent burglaries, where they tie up the home owners and torture them, have usually been tipped off and either know or believe that there is something valuable enough to justify the extra risk (like a safe). In this event you will be able to thank the Amazon delivery man who cased your joint on behalf of his criminal chums so that they could come back and pay you a visit later.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: But if they steal anything are they not going to be on camera?

        A good old fashioned lock (among other things) will deter most burglars

        When asked if I didn't think my A4-sized dog door that even I could crawl through[1] was a security issue, my reply was that the two large dogs that require that size of dog door was more than compensation.

        Even though the dog to worry more about was probably the miniture dachshund that we also had at the time..

        [1] The dogs loved it when I did that. Especially when my arms were not through the door and they had unrestricted access to lick my face..

        1. pxd

          Re: But if they steal anything are they not going to be on camera?

          Why is the CrazyOldCatMan writing about dogs? New name required, perhaps? pxd

      2. Kiwi Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: But if they steal anything are they not going to be on camera?

        Most won’t kick doors in or break windows because that makes a lot of noise and risks attracting unwanted attention.

        Please rethink that. #1 Consider the rise of "home theatre" systems, and what they do to sounds from outside. #2 Please consider the increased use of earbuds and headphones. #3 Please consider the increased laziness and decreased direct neighbour-neighbour interaction.

        Chances of someone hearing a crash/smash are low, chances of someone hearing AND responding are much lower. Gone are the days when the sound of breaking glass would bring the neighbours out to check things were OK. Nowadays they ignore it if they even hear it, which is unlikely.

        Oh, and also #4 the increase in insulation, double-glazing etc which reduces outside sounds as well.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: But if they steal anything are they not going to be on camera?

      If said driver that enters home and does steal anything they are going to be on camera (as that is part of the Amazon Key system)

      Let's start with the fact that iIf it's looking at your valuables, then it's looking at you. All the time.

      Next comes the sheer volume of people you'd have to vet to a high standard, which is impossible because Amazon wants to turn a profit at some point. There is so much wrong with this idea it makes me wonder if we ever find out who:

      1 - came up with this idiocy

      2 - approved this as viable

      3 - drew up the marketing and press briefings

      Can you imagine how many deluded people you need in an organisation the size of Amazon to get that out? That worries me more than the idea itself, because there is no possible chance I'd ever allow anything like that near my place, and that includes gadgets such as Alexa. They truly have gone nuts over there, but I guess Trump as president should have been enough evidence..

  9. King Jack
    Trollface

    I can see this working

    I bet Millennials will be queuing up to be the first to try this so they can boast to their mates on Facebook how cool it is.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I can see this working

      Facebook? From what I've heard, Facebook is seen as being for "old" people now, and the "cool" stuff has moved to Instagram, Snapchat et al.

      Doesn't surprise me. Yes, it was once the in-thing, but it's easy to forget that Facebook has been mainstream for a decade now. Since then, everyone's parents and grandparents have joined up- which is probably a turn-off in itself if they're sending you inane, uncool and/or pestering messages.

      It also (wilfully) blurs and disregards attempts to keep groups of people separate, so if you don't want your Mum accidentally finding out about whatever, it probably makes more sense to use a completely different social network that she isn't on.

      (Not to mention that the hip, young early adopters of Facebook are now a decade older- i.e. not the "kids" on social media any more. Everyone using "millennials" as a synonym for youth should remember that the oldest of them are now in their mid-thirties and that many of those in their teens are probably closer to Generation Z).

  10. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    "However, would-be burglars are probably more likely to kick down a door or smash a window than to try to crash a smart lock."

    Well, what if they've rooted your home network using that IoTat front door camera's, burgular alarm's or thermostat's weak security, have spotted your order as "out for delivery" using your account to spy on you, and turn up in Amazon drag asking you to app them in please?

    Stupids and shinies.

    1. jmch Silver badge

      Re: Bah!

      "Well, what if they've rooted your home network using that IoTat front door camera's, burgular alarm's or thermostat's weak security, have spotted your order as "out for delivery" using your account to spy on you, and turn up in Amazon drag asking you to app them in please?"

      Anyone with the technical capability to do that is also not so stupid as to waste that capability on low-value targets. The vast majority of people do not have enough valuables at home to justify a thief setting up this sort of complex operation to gain access. Keep in mind that second-hand electronics (even if not stolen) have bugger all resale value, so the only things worth mounting such a complex operation for are large amounts of cash or 'real' jewelry. Anyone who has that stuff lying around at home probably has a butler to collect deliveries.

      Frankly what bothers me about this isn't so much the possibility of getting my stuff nicked (because I don't have much worth nicking anyway), but that I do not feel comfortable letting strangers into my home.

      As many people have mentioned, simplest solution is a box. Doesn't have to be unlockable by the delivery person, I'm sure it's possible to set up some sort of flap mechanism that allows things to be put in the box without a key, but requiring a key to get things out. Basically a giant letterbox.

      1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Bah!

        <quote>Anyone who has that stuff lying around at home probably has a butler to collect deliveries.</quote>

        Oh please.

        The Butler is the head of the household staff and is in direct charge of the Kitchen, Pantry and the Wine Cellar.

        Taking personal deliveries is the job of the Porter. Or possibly the Valet.

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Bah!

          Taking personal deliveries is the job of the Porter.

          ITYM "under-assistant second footman". What? Doesn't everyone have footmen?

          1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

            Re: Bah!

            Yah, I was thinking this was more the footman's job myself.

            1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge

              Re: Bah!

              Of course, I stand corrected. The oversight is a result of my having to give the Footman the sack last week for taking altogether too long to polish the silver. That and the Scullery Maid has been appearing dishevelled at her duties an awful lot recently. I'm not sure how, but I'm assured it was his doing.

              1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

                Re: Bah!

                I'm not sure how, but I'm assured it was his doing.

                Treading on the masters' toes was he?

                1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge

                  Re: Bah!

                  Let's just say he now knows his place, what?

                  Sadly for him it's at the end of a dole queue *snort, guffaw etc*

      2. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: low-value targets

        I live on Long Island. Many of my neighbors have home theater installations in the basements, boats and second cars in the driveway, some of which are the expensive muscle cars they don't want to drive to the Long Island Rail Road door-ding and wheel-thief plazas car parks, all with keys probably hanging on a hook in the house somewhere.

        I'm not sure why you think that Amazon customers wouldn't have stuff worth half-inching in an organized way. I reckon a half dozen teams working one work day could net quite a bit of expensive luxury swag working a scam such as I describe, and since the IoTat stuff is leakier than Quint's boat, rooting the stuff doesn't take a PhD or a room full of Russians.

      3. Kiwi Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Bah!

        Doesn't have to be unlockable by the delivery person, I'm sure it's possible to set up some sort of flap mechanism that allows things to be put in the box without a key, but requiring a key to get things out.

        Not hard to do, but as an alternative... if you're expecting one delivery, then an unlocked box that the courier locks when they deliver (or just closes the lid on, causing it to lock). If you were getting more than one delivery, you could perhaps consider more than one box. I've figured out a few trivial ways in the time since I read your paragraph and came up with the idea :)

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If I'm not in you can f*ck off and come back when I am, I will happily arrange a day and time to suit but there is no way I'm going to let you in my house when I'm not there. The only electrical based sh*t at my front door is my doorbell and alarm sensor. I also keep a banjo on the porch that I like to play.

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      FAIL

      If I'm not in you can f*ck off and

      leave a note telling you to come and collect your package from the disused lavatory (the one with the sign 'beware of the leopard') in the cellar of the distribution center in some remote corner of an industrial estate with a fractal road layout incorrectly signposted and mapped, inaccessible by any means of public transport, and only between 10:00 to 10:05, and 14:50 to 14:55 on odd-weeknumber thursdays in months that do not contain the letters 'a' and 'e'.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: If I'm not in you can f*ck off and

        So that would be July then.

        The 6th or 20th July to be more precise, assuming I got the odd numbered week thingy correct.

        1. Stoneshop Silver badge

          Re: If I'm not in you can f*ck off and

          So that would be July then.

          The 6th or 20th July to be more precise,

          Exactly. This past July. Three months ago, so entirely appropriate for couriers to give out for a pickup appointment.

      2. DropBear Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: If I'm not in you can f*ck off and

        Believe it or not I actually do that sometimes when I'm desperate enough (it's exactly as you describe it) and I kid you not, every single time the staff is absolutely shocked that a living soul turned up on their (heavily obfuscated and probably patrolled by alligators) doorstep, unable to fathom what I might possibly want there. They're professionals of course so they do at least try to hide it, but it's SO obvious...

  12. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Upset now

    So many commentards already covered what I wanted to say!

    1. Haku
      Facepalm

      Re: Upset now

      I was going to say that!

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Upset now

        Exactly.

        However, am I still allowed to say "DO NOT WANT!"?

        1. Stoneshop Silver badge

          Re: Upset now

          However, am I still allowed to say "DO NOT WANT!"?

          That's your cat's job.

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: Upset now

            However, am I still allowed to say "DO NOT WANT!"?

            That's your cat's job.

            Nah. They can't be bothered. That's why they have servants.

  13. Steve Knox Silver badge
    Holmes

    Foyer

    Mudroom,

    Porch,

    Airlock.

    Just a few names for similar concepts, where you have two doors between the outside world and your private areas. They don't need to have the same keys.

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge

      Re: Foyer

      They don't need to have the same keys.

      Still means the delivery driver(s) needs to have that key, which is inconvenient to say the least. Unless the outer door has an electronic lock that can be opened either remotely, or via a code that comes with the delivery slip or something comparable.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So when I worked as a gardener, several of our clients had gates with intercoms that rang their mobile phones and they could let us in remotely. Cost a fraction of what Amazon is charging for this shit.

  15. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

    Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

    Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

    Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

    Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

    {pause for breath}

    Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

    Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

    Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

    Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

      You've been watching CinemaSins :)

  16. ThatOne Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Well, the chances the gardener would run off with the lawn are quite small. It's not the same situation, this here is supposed to be a "secure" (cough, cough) solution.

    What about the delivery person not closing the door properly, resulting in (unrelated) people arriving a little later and getting in to check if anything takes their fancy?

    I'm pretty sure that case won't be covered by that "Happiness & Long Life" insurance, given the delivery person will claim they closed the door, and the Police will claim the lock wasn't tampered with, resulting in a legal stalemate.

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge

      Well, the chances the gardener would run off with the lawn are quite small.

      Quite.

      It's the Landscaping Architects that you need to be wary of. Once they have replaced your lawn and rose bushes with concrete slabs, gravel and flagstones there's nothing for them to do any more, so you may one day arrive home and find that damn maintenance-prone lawn and those sodding prickly irritating-insect-attracting rose bushes back in place again, so that you need to engage the Landscaping Architects once again.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dear Amazon

    Fuck Off

    1. Haku

      Re: Dear Amazon

      Exactly.

      First they want unfettered access to our browsing history through cookies, now they want unfettered access to our homes.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Actually...

    ...could work quite well IF you have an air lock arrangement somewhere at your residence with the ability to unlock the outer door only when required. Of course doesn't stop the delivery person from nicking the previous delivery but a camera would put a stop to that.

    1. Haku

      Re: Actually...

      Good idea. I suggest an extra element; a PIR sensor that turns on a small LCD screen showing the realtime camera feed and a sign below it saying "Smile for the CCTV".

      1. jmch Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Actually...

        " I suggest an extra element; a PIR sensor that turns on a small LCD screen..."

        so then they nick the LCD screen and the camera besides your stuff??

    2. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

      Re: Actually...

      "...but a camera would put a stop to that"

      Not quite, now they steal the previous delivery and the camera.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Actually...

      could work quite well IF you have an air lock arrangement somewhere at your residence

      Cool! They deliver in spaaaace already? (sorry Muppets).

      :)

    4. D@v3

      Re: nicking the previous delivery

      Do you often have multiple deliveries on the same day at different times?

      I know that there are many situations that i find myself outside the 'normal' categories, but the likely hood that I will have more than one delivery a week, let alone a day, are vanishingly small.

      (for the record, i also don't think this is a great idea)

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge

        Re: nicking the previous delivery

        Do you often have multiple deliveries on the same day at different times?

        Yes. Not often, but they happen. Sometimes it's like buses: you wait ages for some package from China to show up, then three arrive the same day (all by different couriers, obviously).

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Certainly creates a grey area regards Police/access to Property without a Warrant.

    Muddies the water somewhat where you have Police working undercover as Couriers because once they have access, the law is on their side if they go a bit further than just dropping the parcel as you've effectively given them access as part of Amazon's t&c's.

    How they got lawful access (wearing their two hats) if they find anything unlawful is pretty much immaterial, after the fact.

    Nothing to hide...as they say.

    There definitely seems a land grab by the powers that be, to remove the once deemed private aspect of homes/your online presence.

    In the future, will it be classed as suspicious, (as it's starting to seem now, if you don't use Social Media such as Facebook/Twitter-i.e. have an online presence), if you don't allow Courier's electronic access to drop parcels into your home, if it becomes the norm?

    We need to start standing up to this land grab, drawing the boundary line in the sand pretty soon, if any form of Privacy is to exist in the future, that's if you still believe in Privacy.

    1. Christoph Silver badge

      Re: Certainly creates a grey area regards Police/access to Property without a Warrant.

      Also Bailiffs. As I understand it, once you have allowed a Bailiff to access your premises then you can no longer refuse entry later. And rumour has it that some of them use all sorts of tricks to accomplish that.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Certainly creates a grey area regards Police/access to Property without a Warrant.

        The Police (even without pretending to be Couriers) can just check with Amazon to see if there is a delivery due and wait for the Courier to turn up, once the Courier opens the door, they go in.

  20. J J Carter Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Life & liberty!

    How many couriers will be shot by startled 2nd amendment nutters before this is abandoned?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Life & liberty!

      I didn't think of that. Now I'm wondering if this is Darwinian selection of couriers, just stupid or both..

  21. JakeMS Silver badge
    Alert

    Let me think..

    No!

    I'm good thanks, if I have to miss a package for a day then so be it.

    Besides normally I get them delivered to work so there's always someone there.

  22. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Nope ^10

      So, let me get this straight. Are you in favour or not?

  23. DonL

    Pickup point?

    In the Netherlands you can just have your package delivered to a pickup point (there are many!) and then just pick it up there. Some are even open until 21:00 and you get a notification on your smartphone when the package is delivered. Problem solved. I use this service exclusively so I don't have to be home or get up early etc.

    1. Mage Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Pickup point?

      Yes, some couriers here partner with petrol stations & convenience stores. Amazingly the Irish postal service offers a courier service with UK address and USA address. You can on some services get delivery to local post office. If home delivery fails it's at the local sorting office.

      Amazon USA could partner with "7-11" or someone. This scheme is insecure. Watching by phone isn't good enough. Technology for tech's sake when non-technological solutions already exist and are more secure.

      At least it's OPTIONAL! Simples DON'T sign up for it!

      I wonder what the insurance companies think of it?

      1. David Nash Silver badge

        Re: Pickup point?

        "I wonder what the insurance companies think of it?"

        I wonder if Amazon checked? If I were an insurance company I would say it voids your insurance.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In order to protect the contents of your Amazon package from thieves

    we had to allow them to empty the entire contents of your house.

  25. tokamaktech
    WTF?

    And let us not forget...

    If you're creating a system like that, FSB/FBI/etc is going to want a backdoor... which is of course actually your front door.

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: And let us not forget...

      Be different and confuse both. Use a side door.

      :)

  26. Esme

    Buggering orft...

    IT, I remember when you and I were both relatively young and shiny. Ah, happy times! You and I had such fun together, I'd invent algoritms and code them for you, and they fit you so well, you ran so sweetly, and I adored you, and wanted to make you happy. I'd fondle your blue cabinets and massage your tape disks into place, and you'd mumble sweet nothings into my eyeballs. You were mine, I was yours, and we were happy together.

    But now we're older, I got bigger as you got smaller, and you've turned into a promiscuous constantly nagging harridan with eyes for just about anyone but me. Well, I've had enough. I am a human being, not a doormat to bend to your every whim without any consideration of what I want. You may have come into your prime just as I have left mine behind, but I showed you far more consideration when you were young and in need of careful handling than you show me now that I am getting old and frail. I REALLY don't want to catch something nasty secondhand from one of your 'friends'. One can only take so much childish and abusive behaviour before one has to admit the relationship's broken, and I am calling time on ours.

    I am packing my bags and buggering orft back to the mid-late 20th century, where I was much happier. You, 'dear', can go f**k yourself. Oh, I see you already are. Charming.

    (slams door, walks away)

    1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Buggering orft...

      *sobbing*

      They were so happy together, it's just so sad! :(

  27. Chris G Silver badge

    Considering

    The likes of the CIA, FBI, NSA. Etc have been hacked in the past, I don't hold out much hope for Amazin's security being hack proof , I'll stick to my 5 point locking, steel lined front and back doors with no electronic enhancements other than a mains feed to the handle with a wet door mat outside.

  28. doug_bostrom

    PanOptiKey will change our lives in unimaginable ways! Nobody expected a subpoena for footage, etc.

    1. Anonymous Coward
  29. vmistery

    I wouldn’t let them into my whole house but Doesn’t anyone have a porch anymore that soolves this? I don’t have too much of an issue with this service as I would just let them into my porch but not my entire house and have a good old fashioned key lock on the second door. Then if the driver really does like nicking stuff he will be delighted to find some grubby wellingtons and some shopping bags, perhaps even a bit of newspaper!

    1. Fred Dibnah

      Porch

      Some houses have porches, but many don't and some can't (think terraced Victorian streets). Mine doesn't, and if I had to add the cost of building one to the deal it wouldn't be great value.

      Before going down the route of letting Amazon operatives into any secure part of my property, I'd want to be damn sure that my home insurance would pay out if something went missing (somehow I doubt it).

      Anyway meh, I closed my Amazon account years ago and I don't miss them at all.

      1. David Roberts Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Porches

        I usta ave onna dem porches.

        Traded it for a beemer, init.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    too far to the nearest Amazon locker?

    Though i guess you need to do something about bulky parcels.

    Are you permitted to fit the device to a garden shed...

  31. EuKiwi

    Two words...

    Fuck. That.

  32. JohnMurray

    This is the UK.

    It doesn't "do" smart.

    Look at the government......

  33. rmason Silver badge

    Ah, here it is. I've finally found it.

    The 'line', I've finally found the 'line'.

    I am one of those people, so often derided on here. Like many/most we are amazon customers and have prime. Our family is "one of those" who loves our Echo and dots. We have echo and app controlled phillips hue bulbs throughout, echo controls our music, external media and stuff on my internal NAS. We have a "smart" thermostat.

    The better half spends far too much money on amazon, with deliveries most days. We are the *ideal* customer for this (in the eyes of amazon).

    Nope. My house, our home. That's a line that shall not be crossed.This is a solution looking for a problem, and a "solution" that will undoubtedly, eventually, have some sort of major fucktastrophy.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Ah, here it is. I've finally found it.

      We have echo

      Nope. My house, our home. That's a line that shall not be crossed.

      So you're more worried about the physical divide than the logical divide then?

      In the security world, that's known as a FAIL!

      1. David Nash Silver badge

        Re: Ah, here it is. I've finally found it.

        Agree. I use Amazon a lot, use Prime, Kindle, Video. When necessary I have found their customer services to be very good. But I won't have an Echo. And this latest wheeze takes the biscuit.

        Sadly I agree also with the earlier comment about millennials loving it because it's "cool".

      2. rmason Silver badge

        Re: Ah, here it is. I've finally found it.

        @Sir runcible spoon

        Yes. Obviously.

        The echo has absolutely no ability to open my front door and let people in.

        Of course i'm far more worried about that. you'd have to be stupid not to be. My home network is as secure as it can be, without unreasonable expense to me. The way the echo works for our family far outweighs any concerns we have, or we would not have purchased them.

        If you have your home network locked down tighter than me, but live in a normal area and don't lock your doors, or control who enters your home, then more fool you.

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

          Re: Ah, here it is. I've finally found it.

          @rmason,

          I wasn't pointing out logical vs. physical as some kind of xor function, so quite why you would posit I might not take physical security seriously is an odd position to take, and quite bonkers to boot.

          I simply realise that security is a function of *both* - physical and logical. You say you aren't worried about Echo, but what if somehow someone managed to tap into it and overhear you telling your wife (for the upteenth time) the code to the security alarm, or where the spare key is kept, or when you will be away and the dogs put in a kennel etc. etc.?

  34. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge

    Yet another fantastic idea...

    ...that I want absolutely nothing to do with.

    I can arrange to be in, I trust my neighbours, I certainly don't trust the random person who I never met who managed to get a rusty transit to skim through an MOT done by their mate and call themselves a delivery driver. If it needs to go in my house that desperately, my neighbour, who I know well and have known for years can put it in my house, and vice versa.

    A porch is a reasonable solution, but not all buildings have space for that.

    What I think would be a great idea would be to have public buildings, maybe an office of some kind, which have decent opening hours but with a secure area accessible only to staff. The delivery driver could put a ticket with a reference through the door and that relates to your package. They could even handle the post as well.

    (Before anyone moans that they don't have a convenient local Post Office, or that it's never open, blame the unique way our postal service is now run. All the inefficiencies of a public run body and all the financial skimming and money grabbing of the worst kind of capitalism.)

  35. Ralph the Wonder Llama
    Joke

    Chicken/egg

    The real problem here, I think, and one that no-one has mentioned thus far is: how in the name of the FSM are they going to deliver the "Amazon Key In-Home Kit"? Hmm? Hmmmm?

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Chicken/egg

      LOL. I wish I had more upvotes..

  36. Mycho Silver badge

    My prediction

    The first reported abuse will be a poor Amazon delivery driver who just needed a toilet break and decided to use a customer's. When you're absolutely desperate to go this can seem perfectly reasonable, the rest of the time...

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Amazon Lockers

    In fairness, people do use Amazon Lockers; there's one in a supermarket near me, and they are used by single people who can't be at home for deliveries, students and also folks who live in flats that only have hallway-access post boxes and the like. They provide a nearby left-luggage locker for oversized goods. They are also pretty quick to use, which might be why you don't see people there - blink and you'll miss it.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Home Insurance?

    How would this work with your home insurance?

    Q. Is your home unattended during the day?

    Me: Yes

    Q. Do person/persons have access to your property whilst you're away? If yes please list here:...

    Me: Yes; Its Amazon, so could be any one?

    Insurer - Why would we offer you a policy when you cannot guarantee who is in your home whilst you are not there. You are an idiot. Have a nice day.

  39. Anonymous C0ward

    I'd consider an electronic lock

    But only if I built and coded it myself.

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