October 25, 2017
Amazon's Key Service Creates Privacy And Security Concerns

Amazon claims the company is a step closer to keeping your packages and home safe. Expanding from the current audio based Alexa, the new Amazon Key system allows one-time codes that will allow customers to receive packages in their homes. Utilizing the new Cloud Cam security camera and a smart lock, Prime members can unlock their door for guests, deliveries, and other service providers with the press of a button. These same features created for convenience raise security and privacy concerns for many users.

The much-anticipated Amazon Cloud Cam is the base of this new delivery system. The Cloud Cam includes two-way audio, continuous live stream and works together with any Alexa connected device. Alexa devices using the voice-activated system have previously come under fire for privacy concerns. Since the device acts on a particular word to activate, it is constantly listening to the surrounding environment and sending data to Amazon's servers. A case in Arkansas is testing whether police and other government officials can obtain these recordings and use them in court.

The Key and Cloud Cam services expand on this potentially invasive technology. You have control over where you place these cameras, but you are granting Amazon surveillance of your home or place of business and paying for the privilege of viewing and storing the video. Packages start $6.99 a month and range up to $199 per year for access to your motion detection clips. This brings up a key question for many users, which is what happens when my data is compromised?

[Image by Amazon]

Amazon is no stranger to security breaches. They have experienced several data compromises that have led to the leak of sensitive information throughout the site's lifetime. Consumers are understandably uncomfortable with their credit cards, bank account, and other sensitive information being in a stranger's hands. Now that Key and Cloud Cam are available, members also risk exposing private video to millions of people across the globe.

Hackers may not just have access to your videos through this system but direct access to an unlocked door. Security cameras can be accessed through a home network and have proven to be less than safe in the past. Since the Amazon Key system can unlock your door, however, you are no longer simply allowing hackers access to views of your home. A compromised system can allow thieves to come right in and have open access to take what they like and delete the video evidence. Even authorized entries may prove to be unsafe as unsupervised individuals can deliver your package and steal your valuables on their way out the door.

There is no doubt Amazon's new technology will be life-changing. It can provide convenience, peace of mind, and help connect families and pets while they are apart. It also has the potential to kick-start a new high-tech crime wave. Will you utilize this technology in your home?

[Featured Image by Amazon]