October 27, 2017

Amazon Key — great or creepy?

Nice ad:



(And please use The Althouse Amazon Portal if you want to order this thing.)

The opinion that it's creepy is well-represented on Twitter.
“Amazon Peace is an innovative new offering that will allow an Amazon worker to enter your home and smother you with an Amazon pillow,” tweeted @Alexqarbuckle.

Author Chuck Wendig jokes about Amazon “Avatar,” a new service that allows you to upload your consciousness to Amazon. “You'll need a new Kindle Soulport installed in the base of your spine.”

43 comments:

rhhardin said...

They need Amazon Security-System-Disarm as well.

rhhardin said...

In college we all learned to pick locks. There's no reason Amazon can't do that.

rhhardin said...

Picking locks assumes there are still paper clips. I have the feeling that they may be scarce in the natural environment these days.

rhhardin said...

Amazon dog treats might be a handy addition as well, for the entering stranger.

Ralph L said...

I suppose some people do need a new asshole.

Bad Lieutenant said...

In college we all learned to pick locks. There's no reason Amazon can't do that.


Since you so obviously bid for the question, RH, where did you go to college, that they teach lockpicking?

FleetUSA said...

Don't use this if you have animals or valuables in your home. Perfect for a zen pad only.

Known Unknown said...

AmazonCuck.

An exciting new service that helps your wife get the attention she really needs when you're at work or away!

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

My favourite comment is: Amazon Key is the final answer to the question "Who let the dogs out?"
There's something fascinating about this. There is a trend away from telling anyone your address at all. Why do that? Aren't you opening yourself to attacks from creeps? On the other hand, Amazon knows that online shoppers love the experience of coming home and finding the parcel right there--just like the old days. What to do?
My son says Amazon bought Whole Foods in order to have more places where you can pick up a parcel. Maybe delivery right to your door is the most expensive option--and you'll have to answer the question "what to do with the parcel if no one is home?" The default is probably to take the parcel back to the Purolator store (or whichever), but there might be options like buzz the super or leave it with a neighbour. Having a chain of actual retail outlets, more numerous than the various stores of various couriers, provides more options: I'll pick up the parcel at [check one]. The grocery business is changing. Our Walmart lets you order groceries online for pickup at the store--saving you time. Apparently they're starting to hire their own staff, using personal vehicles, to make deliveries "outside" their in-store shifts.

Bill Crawford said...

Are all the cleaning people light-brown complected???? What do they think this is, a cereal box??

Curious George said...

There sure are a lot of bi-racial couple in ads now.

MadisonMan said...

What is that woman wearing to work! And to a restaurant with her folks!

rehajm said...

Meh. Your house wasn't that secure before.

rehajm said...

I like the idea of Amazon smothering lefties with pillows.

tim in vermont said...

This is Bezos inviting us to sit on his lap.

Virgil Hilts said...

I have no problem giving the largest retailer in the world the ability to unlock my door and also a video camera installed in my home. As seen on Twitter:
AMAZON, 1998: hello we sell books but online
AMAZON, 2023: please return to your Primehouse for your nightly Primemeal, valued Primecitizen

tim in vermont said...

In South Florida, your package is gonna be stolen, especially around Christmas time, if you aren't there when it arrives.

Ralph L said...

It looks like her furniture is gone at the end.

I put in a push button deadbolt and a non-locking lever handle instead of knob. Best thing I did when rebuilding my house, besides the extra tall shower doors.

rhhardin said...

Since you so obviously bid for the question, RH, where did you go to college, that they teach lockpicking?

Oberlin, in fact. It's dorm-taught. All you need is one guy who knows how to do it.

The cleaning staff had keys but everybody else used paper clips.

Curiously, nothing was ever stolen.

Known Unknown said...

"Are all the cleaning people light-brown complected???? What do they think this is, a cereal box??"

In 2017 it's okay to refer to culturally appropriate the term ninjas since Asians don't really count as aggrieved minorities.

Ralph L said...

I found out from the end-of-video selections that Louis Vuitton sells condoms for $68/pack. They're branded with LV instead of LUV. Will Amazon deliver those by drone soon?

rehajm said...

There is a college of lockpicking but they refer to it as a sport.

Michael Boulos said...

amazing
Very Amazing Quotes

traditionalguy said...

Every UPS driver gets one bite.I say trust the new system, or move to a better neighborhood. Bezos is suggesting that the UPS driver is more honest than your current neighbors.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Ah, I thought maybe MIT, where they actually do teach a course in it. Me, I learned in high school. Bronx Science is a fine school, but I wouldn't swear that nothing was ever stolen.

tim in vermont said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

I don't actually find this particularly creepy. It used to be the rule, in the UK anyway. G.K. Chesterton's "The Invisible Man" features (spoiler alert) a postman who quite naturally opens a man's door, kills him, and walks out with the body in his sack. The men watching the house don't even notice him, because that's just what postmen always do. I think they still do, at that, or did a few decades ago -- in a place I stayed at while in London, the post (twice daily -- ah, luxury!) arrived inside the door, which had no letterbox.

Way back when I was in CA, maybe 25 years ago, an Amazon package for me was misdelivered to an apartment building down the street. We never recovered it, and the company (very nicely) offered to re-ship the books to the correct address. But it certainly got into the building, though not likely the apartment.

It's true that Key involves trusting strangers more than we're inclined to do. But the same goes for the whole "gig economy," and looong before that, things like hotels, cabs, cruise lines, and so forth. You trust, or you barricade yourself in your house and never come out.

Clayton Hennesey said...

I predict the popularity of suppressors, quality optics, and the 6.5 Creedmoor will rise even further with the advent of Amazon drones. Formal Olympics acceptance may take longer.

Robert Roy said...

I think maybe some lessons in "adulting" would go down much better than the Key.

tcrosse said...

While Amazon is in your house, they can sort of poke around and see if there's anything You Might Like.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

But the same goes for the whole "gig economy," and looong before that, things like hotels, cabs, cruise lines, and so forth.

None of those things involves your home, though. Most people are very selective/protective about exposing their homes to others.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Letting random delivery people into your home when you are gone seems like a dicey thing in today's world. Even with a video camera to record them at the door.

I would think a 'lock box' big enough to accept most packages would be a better solution.

However, in ancient days of yore, it was common to have the Milkman deliver weekly to your home milk (in glass bottles) cream, cheese, and (if I remember correctly) even eggs. Because my parents both worked and the milk etc would sit outside all day the Milkman would let himself into the house, put the items in the fridge. No one thought it weird or scary.

Nothing was ever missing or out of place.

How times change.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I think maybe some lessons in "adulting" would go down much better than the Key.

Of course, being a cranky old lady, I agree with this and it was one of my thoughts while watching the ad. But generation Z is developing radically different notions of what adulting means than their predecessors. Adulting, shopping, privacy, priorities, family, appropriate work clothes ~ they do not have the same approaches to these thing, and Amazon very much gets this.

Watched the ad with my husband who used to work at Amazon and he pointed out that that was filmed in an actual Amazon office (door desk and everything), that girl looks just like your average Amazonian, and her kitten t-shirt is completely normal. I remember visiting him at work years ago and there was a kid down the hall from him wearing a t-shirt with the F word on it and shorts short enough that her asscheeks were hanging out. No one batted an eyelash.

The other poignant thing ~ her post-it reminders on her calendar literally obscured her family event. That's the most Amazon thing that ever amazoned.

Ralph L said...

The Iceman Cometh and taketh your ice.

Check your local pawnshop.

Martin said...

Almost everything about The Internet of Things in the home is creepy--devices that hear everything anyone says or does and report it back to Amazon or Google, remote control of locks, baby monitors, thermostats, kitchen appliances, cars--all of which have minimal if any security and can be hacked by any 14 yr old with the desire to do so...

In business and industry there is at leats te pretense of security, in the home, it's not even a bad joke.

The whole thing is scary and imho should be stopped dead in its tracks until there is some real security and privacy regulations.

But there's so much money behind it that we will go down that path until something dreadful happens.

pacwest said...

The Singularity is near.

Scott McGlasson said...

Using the word "Author" before "Chuck Wendig" is being charitable.

reader said...

Alta Dena still has home milk delivery in Southern California. We had milk delivered until a few years ago. They asked if we wanted to provide them with a key, we opted to stick with doorstep delivery.

Dave in Tucson said...

A door lock that can be opened over the Internet... what could possibly go wrong?

Anonymous said...

I once lived in a house in Santa Monica that was built sometime in the '30s. It had a compartment in the wall, with one door to the outside and one door to the inside/, that was meant for the milkman to leave milk in. It even had a dial that you could set to indicate how much milk, and what kind, you wanted him to deliver next time.

Pretty much like this picture:

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/e7/1e/61/e71e61ef8f5952c93f0bed3754057671.jpg

George Spix said...

Privacy regulation. never works. Security without policing and horrific punishment has never worked. And even the best the government can do has not worked, save for those who adopt the habit of use it before you lose it, while it still while it still has value, also known as operational security. And then there's the human element. Worse than bad. All you can do is give the snake oil appearance of privacy. And there’s no technical fix. Like saying my bank safe is unbreakable because of A, B, and we even have a guard with a gun. Which has some value if it lets people sleep at night even though cars kill a lot people, people still drive them. Turning the internet off is an option or attempting to build walls. But a feature of the internet is that it automagically routes around all barriers and traffic jams. Also since people are always willing to sell their very personal information for some free good. And smart Artificial intelligence programming can reason to a result with very little information. All I need are a few data points. If I can watch events I can derive or intelligently guess a surprising amount of useful and very personal information. Especially when I’m allowed to observe multiple times over several days. This is not a new problem. We haven't been able to draw the curtains ever. they have always been at least a peeper’s view open and can't be closed. Secrets can only be secrets for a short period of time. Inversely proportional to those that want to know the secret. An approach is to make this unsolvable problem larger and solve that, a polya problem solving technique. My larger problem is dealing with the good and bad that flows from treating all your bits as if they are you. Where we know that absolute sharing of data advances human welfare health wealth and trade, and good governance. So, imagine your digital bits are you, which they are. Treat them as your voice in every legal setting. So, your recorded voice and your recorded bits will not be allowed into evidence by a judge, and if they are the judge declares a mistrial or instructs the jury to ignore, and as the equivalent of your recorded voice cannot be used to self-incriminate. We’ve moved an insurmountable privacy problem into the judicial sphere and away from snake oil and data security regulation. No more dropping of boxes of email and other databases that are you on the table between the prosecutor and your lawyer. "Jim, I know you're innocent. But by the time I've read through all that stuff you'll be tied up for longer than they will jail you, besides my fees will amount to more than any fine. Let's settle. Now. Before the price goes up”, A return to a simpler time, where a trial required some human with standing to be harmed. A Jury or a defense request to waive a jury, human witnesses or overwhelming circumstantial evidence. “Jim the DA hasn't made his numbers in a while, I should be able to get us a good deal.” Numbers meaning There are perverse incentives built into this system. Special Agents and Prosecutors rise in the ranks based on arrests and convictions. rise far enough and make the leap into politics. And a plea bargain counts as a conviction, bad news. I believe that a plea bargain is justice denied, as do others within the justice system I’ve worked with. Some believe that any trial without a Jury should not be counted. Of course, if we make bits speech, the tears will fill a river. As they did when most states did this for your voice no matter how obtained. Wiretaps or speaking live to a TV reporter and worse. Almost all states read this into their constitution or passing law. The State's investigators and prosecutors Threw a tantrum. Crime will go up, costs will soar. None of this happened, crime went down as well as costs since given limited time and resources to advance their careers the prosecutors now had to pick only those high-profile worst of all crimes to prosecute which took the worst of the worst off the streets, besides setting an example.

George Spix said...


Last part: Even better yet if we do this uniformly (feds and states) then Title 13 will have to be rewritten for the digital age and ground through the legislative process. Where every year the people can vote their congress critter in or out based on what stupidity they put in Title 13. "Ok, is insider trading we can only see in bits really a problem? Maybe we don't care or there's another approach outside of the legal system. More howling ensues from everyone. Given the rate of change today Let's term limit Title 13 to one generation. Say 75 years. With your bits being the same as you we can approach the impossible privacy problem from a different angle. We need and agree that data sharing needs to be encouraged and perhaps required for the betterment of all, Fun, profit, trade security, transparency in government and more. So, theft is not a problem. Please here just take it. Bits that go viral even embarrassing win the jackpot” All because we made Privacy a Rival good. The apple can only be eaten once because it is no more. And the owner compensated for eating more apples. And Imagine what happens when even the poorest students in the poorest of countries have access to data and algorithms to repeat and validate results of data based experiments, not to disprove but to learn as much as is taught in the best of universities. Educated intellect is wealth and health. What we need is compensation for the use of our bits in any setting. The wonderful thing about big data processing is we can just compare bits to see if they are the same and who has claimed ownership. If so, I hit the RIAA meter for every use of those bits adding a micro farthing of credit, no magic crypto needed just a comparison, the owner can pick up their royalty from the RIAA or the government, if it wants to pay you directly, CALEA just works Those that violate the RIAA covenant get cut off. Companies will have to compete on their data use rules that they publish, and when they violate their terms torts will take care of the rest. And competition and markets will do quickly drive the standard T&Cs to their asymptote. Government regulation will have its place. Thou shalt not use the genome to discriminate in any way, if you found it guessed it, paid for it, etc. And other common-sense usage regulations. We will need a decade of confidence building observing the government behaving within these rules that limit their past freedom of action now that we agree that your bits are you. And public education can deal with the rest. Sadly, this requires a government to give before it gets. It’s almost impossible for a government to do this, but it can be done, government willing, to solve a different harder problem that contains our impossible problem. The first objection is “Does this mean we can’t use data to prosecute child porn. Maybe” But at every presidential election we will approve by majority vote every single data element or combination that we will permit prosecution or other government action to be based on. Where the going in assumption is no. We can’t prosecute until the people agree. So, the list will likely only be the truly abhorrent acts that a majority can agree on, save for an initial set established by unanimous vote of the legislators. “But we’re the government, why are you hobbling us some more? The answer is in the question. And a new golden age will be upon us where data multiplies upon itself, creating benefit after benefit not burdened by the costs of security theater and the friction of borders we needlessly attempt create that can’t work. Especially in an era when a smartphone has the power and memory of a supercomputer of lore...Next, we’ll tackle the IP problem and how to motivate the best to create it, especially since it is so easy to copy the most valuable IP. i.e. No value why bother?

George Spix said...

re:privacy and bits are you, i can't see and I can't type. brain damage. besides a 3 looks like an 8.. so please read Title 3 as Title 18 above