Would you let a stranger enter your home while you’re out?

Well, what if you could record them?

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Amazon Black Friday in 2017

Those are the questions I posed to you last week. Because, with Amazon Key’s launch earlier this month, I started wondering if I should hop on the bandwagon and let delivery drivers waltz into my home to drop off packages while I’m away.

All I have to do is buy the smart lock and the Cloud Cam, which connects to a smartphone app for my viewing pleasure, and I’m all set.

Sounds easy enough … and it will definitely eliminate the risk of my packages being stolen from right outside my door (again).

But as someone who values and respects privacy, I have to ask: Is it worth it?

Already, security concerns are being raised, and the service hasn’t even been live for three weeks. Research firm Rhino Security Labs found that a skilled hacker within Wi-Fi range could simply deauthorize the camera — cutting it off from the web.

This means you would stop getting a live feed of your home. So if a driver was already approved for entry, he could waltz in and out without ever being recorded.

But it gets worse.

You wouldn’t even realize the camera was offline. The smartphone app would continue to show you a still frame from the last moment before the camera was disconnected.

And yes, Amazon is rolling out a software update for the glitch, but this just drives home my point: Is it worth it?

When I asked you this last week, I needed help making that decision.

And I just want to give a big shout out to everyone who wrote in. We received a deluge of responses, and the overwhelming consensus was: No, you would not let a stranger into your home.

So today, let’s explore the inbox and take a look at some of those emails:

Readers Opposed to Amazon Key

Mark P. writes: “No way would I let a stranger come into my house while I'm not home to deliver a package, even with a camera to watch him/her. I'm afraid that my English Mastiff might cause the delivery person to have a heart attack and then sue me for my retirement nest egg.” 

Doug G. writes: “I would never want a delivery person to enter my home when I wasn’t there, even with cameras. Cameras can be rendered ineffective, blocked and just plain broken.”

Gill H. writes: “Great article, but no thanks to deliveries from strangers. Besides my Chihuahua-Rat Terrier [pictured] doesn't like postal service of any kind.”

John G. writes: “I spent 18 years delivering packages for one of the big three international package delivery companies. I earned the trust of my customers over the years and was given key cards, door security codes and keys to buildings. Although I never betrayed the trust of my customers, some of my colleagues did. One person who worked for the company for over a decade was caught on camera stealing a customer’s product while picking up the packages to be shipped. I can honestly say that since ‘people are people,’ I wouldn’t give any stranger the ability to access my home while I am away. I believe a better solution is providing an alternative delivery option to the front door.”

Nancy W. writes: “No, I would not let a package be delivered into my home, as it is the last vestige of privacy I have (given all the electronic ways of stealing my personal information that are already out there). Thanks for asking!”

Readers Who Might Use Amazon Key

Daz H. writes: “A few years ago, I would have said definitely not. But I also coveted my privacy and thought that if I were smart, I could maintain it. That has changed somewhat since we now have an internet-centric world. I can be tracked with GPS, have my photos, medical records, etc. seen by hackers. And I am certain other privacy issues occur without my knowledge. So I now answer possibly. I would have to have a number of other security cameras around my home that were installed and controlled by me. Then I would feel OK about having a stranger come into my home.”

Eloise P. writes: “Yes, I think it is OK to have packages placed inside the home. As long as the person is shown — very clearly — on the camera recording and can only deliver inside the doorway (not throughout the house). (Will be timed for dropping off and leaving.) Home must be relocked. Cameras need to be inside and out. Will [need to] secure the home against anyone else coming up to the home.”

Arthur T. writes: “I’ve been on the fence ever since Amazon announced the in-home delivery option. Although we’ve not had a banana holder stolen from outside our home, our neighbors have not been so lucky — and we live in upscale suburbia. I’m finally seeing that with an in-home security camera, watching in real time, I don’t have any reservations. Additionally, the delivery drivers don’t have a code to enter the home. It’s encrypted data sent from their delivery device to our smart-home mechanism. So its gives me peace of mind knowing there is the double layer of security (i.e., they can’t come back and get the same entry for no reason).”

Thanks to everyone for sharing your thoughts! I think I’ll wait to join the Amazon Key bandwagon for now — at least until I have more security options and Amazon has proven it’s fixed any glitches.

What do you think? Feel free to let me know which side of the debate you fall on if you haven’t already. You can always reach me at [email protected] or by dropping a comment on the website.

I hope you all had a wonderful and restful Thanksgiving.

Catch you next week.

Regards,

Jessica Cohn-Kleinberg

Managing Editor, Banyan Hill Publishing

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