Amazon Couriers Could Open Your Front Door for Delivery

John Lister's picture

Amazon wants customers to let couriers have an electronic key to get inside customer homes for deliveries. The Amazon Key program also appears to be a way to promote customers buying security cameras and smart locks.

The Amazon Key feature is only available to customers in the Amazon Prime subscription program, which includes free home delivery and access to streaming video. They'll also need a compatible camera and smart lock, with Amazon bundling the two devices together for $250 including installation. The smart lock technology can be added to an existing standard deadbolt, meaning a physical door key will still work.

As is already available with such equipment from other providers, users can give permanent or one-off access to unlock the door, as well as reviewing video. Amazon advises placing the camera inside the home facing the doorway.

Courier Opens Door By Swiping Phone

With Amazon Key, the user won't have to give access to a specific individual courier. Instead, the courier uses a mobile device such as a smartphone, then scans the barcode on a package when they are at the doorstep. Amazon remotely confirms the delivery is legitimate (since the delivery was already scheduled in their database), at which point the courier can swipe their phone screen to unlock the door and put the package inside. They then swipe again as they leave to relock the door. (Source:

The customer will then get an alert and be able to review the video of the delivery on their own mobile device or even watch it live. They'll also get confirmation the door was relocked.

Only Vetted Employees Can Get Access

The theory is that the service is more convenient and also safer than having to leave a door unlocked or give somebody a physical key, which they could make a copy of. For now Amazon is only going to use the service with couriers it directly employs and says they are "thoroughly vetted, with comprehensive background checks and motor vehicle records reviews." (Source:

In the long term, Amazon wants to work with home service provider businesses, such as dog walkers and cleaners to authorize staff to use the locks. That will make it possible to book a service through the company without needing to arrange access for a specific individual staff member.

What's Your Opinion?

Would you trust such a service if you are unable to be home for deliveries? Is this more or less secure than other delivery options such as leaving it on a porch or behind a house, or with a neighbor? Do the potential security risks outweigh the convenience?

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Average: 5 (4 votes)


Jim's picture

No. No. Oh HELL NO!!

JeffRL's picture

Gee, there's no possibility of this ever going wrong in a seriously big way. Amazon should rename itself Arrogance.

If the government passed a law requiring everyone to carry a tracking device, there would be riots -- but everyone carries a smartphone and not many turn off that feature.

If the government passed a law requiring everyone to have a listening device in your home, there'd be more riots -- but Alexa and Siri and all the rest, even voice-activated TVs, listen to everything you say.

Even if the companies who know where you are and can hear what you say were resolutely and steadfastly opposed to the slightest mis-use of the information they collect about you, (a) they're still collecting it and (b)what if the cops show up with a court order demanding access to it? What if they're hacked, by either a disgruntled insider or by an external threat? If the director of the CIA can have his e-mail account hacked, if NASA and the Pentagon can be hacked, who is truly immune to it? A hint: no one.

I am not a conspiracy theorist or a paranoid nutter. I just do a sensible risk analysis of things that matter and there is no way Amazon or any other company is getting access into my home when I'm not here.

I wonder if Jeff Bezos or any other Amazon execs would sign up for this. (OK, that was a joke to lighten the mood.)

Dennis Faas's picture

I think a better approach is to have Amazon deliver packages to a "safe house" located near you (such as a nearby post office / convenience store post office) that can accept the packages while you're away. Then you can go and pick them up at your convenience at (preferably) extended hours. It's win-win.

guitardogg's picture

Amazon already has drop off locations. My local grocery store has these Amazon lockers. Your stuff gets delivered to one of these lockers, and they send you the code to open it.

With enough safe guards, this open your door thing could work for some people. With Air B&B people let people live in their houses. So whatever works for you.