Do you know the story of the wolf and the seven goats? The wolf tries to get into the goat’s house while she is away, but the kids won’t open the door. So the wolf disguises himself, changes his voice and promises gifts for the kids, who are now more than willing to open the door – only to be devoured by the wolf.
Even though the story eventually ends on a happy note, the moral is that people are too willing to let go of their concerns for safety if a friendly person promises benefits. Something similar is brewing in the kitchen of Walmart and Amazon, who are working on home security devices that grant access to the delivery guy even if you aren’t home.
Walmart Wants to Stuff Your Fridge Personally
So what is this straight-to-fridge delivery all about? Well, you know how frustrating it is to order groceries online but then have to be there to deal with it personally, right? The same could be said about Amazon parcels; if you’re not there the delivery guy either takes the package back or eventually leaves your order at the doorstep, exposed to the elements or petty thieves.
Well, now Walmart is experimenting with the idea of a security system that lets in authorized personnel (in other words the delivery guy), who would bring the package inside the house themselves. Even better, Walmart employees will place the groceries directly in your fridge or freezer.
In order to achieve this feat they have partnered with security system manufacturer August, who will develop the corresponding smart locks that are preferably combined with a camera-equipped doorbell. This idea seems to be so attractive that Amazon has started working on its own version as well.
Is This the Future?
We don’t really need to explain how eerie Walmart’s vision is. After learning about the news, people quickly expressed their distaste for the idea of letting a complete stranger into their home; who knows what they might do while ‘packing the fridge’.
The company pointed out that the actual delivery would be handled by a company called Deliv, who would always push the bell before requesting a one-time entry code for the smart lock. In defense of the company it was also mentioned that you’ll receive a smartphone notification when the carrier arrives, while their actions can be followed through a live camera feed.
The System Is Too Dangerous
But that’s not the point. For one, you would need to pave the path from the front door to the kitchen with cameras in order to fully monitor the deliverer’s actions. And so what if you can see them? That wouldn’t actually stop them from blinding and obscuring the lens and start looting the place.
Besides, in this day and age almost everything can be hacked, and companies seem to be very careless with our private information (Equifax fiasco, anyone?). If malicious individuals crack Deliv’s or Walmart’s database storing all subscribed homeowners’ data, they could easily use the info to fool the smartlocks into opening the doors for criminals.
We believe that the convenience offered by such direct-to-fridge delivery just isn’t worth sacrificing your security for. If you are expecting a package while you’re away, ask a trustworthy neighbor or friend to take over your stuff. Additionally, there are now advanced doorbells with cameras that can take a snapshot of your guests, or even allow two-way communication through your phone. This way it’s you who is in control of who can enter the building, not some corporate controlled system.
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