Amazon Is Asking for the Keys to Your Building from Your Landlord

Amazon has been asking building management to give its employees access to buildings.

According to a new report from the Associated Press, the e-commerce giant has been pushing landlords to join its Key for Business service, which allows Amazon to install a virtual key device in buildings that will unlock doors for the company’s drivers and delivery staff when package recipients aren’t home. The system allows Amazon to speed up deliveries while reducing costs from stolen packages left outside different premises. To promote the plan, salespeople from the company have been pitching relentlessly to different establishments all across the U.S., in some cases offering financial incentives as well. The tech giant has even teamed up with numerous local locksmiths so they’d push the initiative during repairs.

While on paper the initiative might sound appealing from a business standpoint, many security and privacy experts have raised concerns regarding Key for Business. A virtual access point allows hackers to potentially break through and enter homes and commercial buildings. “You’re essentially introducing a foreign internet-connected device into an otherwise internal network,” said Ashkan Soltani, a former chief technologist at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

Security and privacy concerns aside, others have pointed out that Key for Business could be Amazon’s method of keeping out competition. “The landlord may say, ‘You know, I’ll do this for one company, but maybe we don’t want it for every delivery company that’s out there,’ ” said Philip T. Evers, a logistics professor at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.

Amazon has refused to comment on any of these concerns.

Elsewhere in tech, Bitcoin has soared above $40,000 USD for the first time since June.
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