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Amazon’s in-Garage Delivery Program Stirs Up Privacy Concerns

Amazon delivery drivers are going the extra distance, literally, by dropping packages off inside recipients’ garages. In a partnership with myQ, Amazon has launched a new program: Amazon Key In-Garage Delivery, where packages are dropped off inside the customer’s garage to prevent theft. So far, the partnership has successfully delivered 50 million packages. This program intends to reduce package theft and give people more control over how and when they receive their packages. The program is particularly applicable to people who are out of town or have a valuable package being delivered.  

MyQ has a range of home connectivity gadgets, including cameras, locks, and garage openers/control devices. The delivery program requires Prime members to get myQ garage technology devices, link the Amazon Key to the myQ app, and then purchase/check out using the app.  The homeowner must then select the “free delivery” option, and Amazon drivers will use the app to open the garage, place the parcel inside, and close the garage. The app does not reveal a homeowner’s garage code or password. Instead, the driver receives one-time access to a garage upon verification from Amazon. This is to protect homeowners’ privacy. 

While there have been many successful deliveries and happy customers, consumers have expressed concerns about the program, citing an invasion of privacy and apprehension about being “trapped in an all-Amazon world.” In an article by the Washington Post, tech columnist Geoffrey A. Fowler tested the program and did not have positive things to say. Fowler cited issues with the technology used to open the garage and doors, which led to problems not associated with deliveries. Another issue arises if the doors and garages are incompatible. The only solution would be to purchase additional gear, which would pose an issue for older homes. Additionally, Fowler claimed deliveries were missed. He also noted that Amazon Key In-Garage Delivery is an easy and quick way for Amazon to access home networks, bringing up possible cybersecurity and privacy risks. 

Cybersecurity is a growing concern for most consumers. The Biden Administration recently released a program that will launch in 2024 requiring manufacturers to certify that the products they sell are cyber-secure. Would a seal of approval for Amazon Key In-Garage Delivery from the White House ease customer concerns? Or is convenience worth the risk?