Smart locks offer a number of benefits over the traditional key-operated kind. There’s the fact that you are less likely to get locked out if you have multiple methods of entry – key, phone and Watch, for example. Auto-unlocking is also convenient when you are carrying shopping and don’t have any free hands.
Typical smart locks offer another key benefit: the ability to allow other people entry into your home when you’re not there. For example, if a family member is visiting, and will arrive before you get home from work, you can create a ‘guest pass’ for them that allows them entry.
Today, Amazon has taken that one step further …
Rather than requesting entry when required, delivery drivers will have the ability to unlock your door on demand when delivering packages.
There will, of course, be safeguards in place. A security camera captures video of the delivery. Drivers will presumably only be able to unlock the door when they have a package for you. The time of opening and closing the door is likely to be logged, so you’ll know they didn’t have time to case the joint. And Amazon says that drivers will be trained not to enter your home, only opening the door far enough to slip your package inside.
But it’s still a change in mindset, to know that a complete stranger can unlock your front door without your specific approval at the time.
We thought it would be interesting to see how comfortable people feel about the idea of guest access in general, and some specific instances.
Some might take the view that smart locks are more secure than conventional key locks, because you get a record of who entered when, and because you can remotely revoke access as well as grant it. With a conventional key, you may give copies to your cleaner, babysitter or a builder working on your home. Although you can get the keys back again when you no longer use them, there’s always the possibility that they made a copy. With a smart lock, you can grant them access for as long as needed, then revoke it afterwards.
Others might feel uneasy about the idea, either in general, or in the specific example of ‘on demand’ access as in the Amazon case.
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