Amazon Key and Ring forming the perfect marriage?

LockAmazon Keyis a keyless entry, guest access, and optional in-home delivery program that is struggling to gain any traction, that is until they integrated a big market player through an acquisition. The goals of this program within Amazon is to seamlessly manage and monitor your door from anywhere; lock and unlock your door remotely, use keyless access, and check in on your front door 24/7 by viewing motion clips of who entered and exited your home when your door is unlocked and locked using live stream.  Some of the more forward thinking relates to providing family and friends temporary, recurring, or permanent access; or provide one-time access for your electrician. For Amazon’s direct benefit, Prime members in select cities and surrounding areas, can opt-in to getting Amazon packages securely delivered just inside your front door. Watch your delivery happening live or view a video clip of it later. They will send notifications the morning of delivery, just before, and right after or, choose to block the in-home delivery feature.

“Meanwhile, Amazon and Walmart have been testing in-home delivery services. Amazon Key is now available in 37 cities, and Amazon Prime members can sign up for the service for $250, which includes an indoor camera, installation and a smart lock. In Walmart’s service, employees pick groceries, and then Deliv brings them into customers’ homes (and even places items in your refrigerator/freezer) with a one-time pass code and a keyless lock. Amazon hopes that this service will greatly reduce the problem of stolen packages; according to Open Door to Delivery, a new survey conducted by InsuranceQuotes, 23.4% of Amazon Prime members have had a delivered package stolen. 

The survey, which included 1,013 consumers aged 18 to 74, with an average age of 35 for both male (445) and female (567) respondents, finds that just over 31% of people were willing to use the Amazon Key In-Home Delivery Service. While that might not sound hopeful for the service, it is almost double the number of people who said they would use it in a survey conducted on Toluna last November. The survey also found that a greater share of Walmart shoppers, 22.1%, were willing to use this type of service.”- Consumers Are Wary Of Amazon Key — No Surprise, Phil Lempert , CONTRIBUTOR, March 16, 2018

With Apple, Google, and Samsung all pushing into the same business, Amazon is trying to keep its edge by continually growing its portfolio of devices.  The uplift in confidence with this program came from the purchase of Ring, a maker of video doorbells and security cameras. Google in early Februarymerged itself back with Nest so both companies can work more closely together and create a potentially stronger competitor to Amazon. So, the acquisition comes at a time in Amazon’s relationship with smart thermostat and camera maker Nest, a long-time Alexa partner, owned by Alphabet, Google’s parent company, Amazon has decided not to stock several new Nest devices.

Asked whether the Ring deal was influenced by Nest reuniting with Google, Limp said: “The answer is no … that’s not why we do things,” adding that Amazon’s focus is on what customers want, not competitors or “other externalities.” He also noted that negotiations with Ring started before Google made its announcement. For Ring, the deal is a big change just five years after the startup, still operating out of a garage, appeared on the show Shark Tankto pitch itself for investors, though no deal came from the appearance. Despite the reported $1 billion price tag, host Mark Cuban last month saidhe’d pass on Ring again if given the chance since the startup required hundreds of millions of dollars in initial investments.” Amazon Key, Ring doorbells may become your new smart home BFFs, Ben Fox Rubin , April 12, 2018

The Federal Trade Commission is policing these issues, punishing companies for insufficient data security, but they don’t get involved proactively in the security design of these products.Other government agencies get involved in fundamental designs but in a limited scope, like the Food and Drug Administration limited to medical devices.

As reportedby Trevor Rudolf for FCW, a publication for federal technology, according to the commission, product safety challenges of IoT products fall into two categories:

  • Prevention or elimination of hazardous conditions designed into products intentionally or without sufficient consideration (e.g., high-risk remote operation or network-enabled control of products or product features).
  • Preventing and addressing incidents of hazardization, which it defines as “the situation created when a product that was safe when obtained by a consumer but which, when connected to a network, becomes hazardous through malicious, incorrect, or careless changes to operational code.”

We need a group of businesses, to set standards in security design for technology productsthat the government can use. We have been placing our consumer trust systems for personal protection that are aiding malicious actors.

 “The commission is primarily concerned with physical safety hazards that could result from use of IoT products. This might include “remote operation hazards,” where, for example, unintended remote activation of heating elements on a stovetop could pose fire or burn hazards. Or using the home security scenario, the commission wants to address potential loss of safety function. For example, an integrated home security system that fails to download a software update properly, potentially resulting in a deactivated system — including disabled smoke alarms — without consumer knowledge.” –  Time for more robust IOT oversight, By Trevor H. Rudolph, Apr 09, 2018

How are communications and the data with the application secured? Where is this data stored? Who has access?


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