Recently, Walmart shocked privacy conscious Americans by announcing they wanted customers to let Walmart employees inside their homes.
Walmart thinks that Americans will be happy to let strange Uber and Lyft drivers inside their homes.
First, users will place an order on Walmart’s website for their groceries, which will dispatch a driver from Deliv, a Walmart-owned company that uses drivers on services like Uber and Lyft for last mile deliveries, to bring it to your smarthome. (Source)
Homeowners will receive a notification that someone is in their home…
“You’ll receive a phone notification that it’s happening,and if you want, can watch the delivery in real time with your smarthome’s security camera system via the August app, you’ll be ‘in control of the experience the entire time’ VP of eCommerce Strategy and Business Operations Sloan Eddleston said.” (Source)
Will you be allowed to watch them while you’re working, driving … what if your phone dies? The reasons why this is a bad idea are too long to list here.
Three days ago, Amazon shocked privacy conscious Americans by announcing that they also want to deliver packages inside peoples homes and cars.
Who wouldn’t want to let two of the largest corporations in the world have access to your car and home, what could possibly go wrong?
If you want to find out what could go wrong, read Computerworld‘s article that describes how letting corporations inside your home and car is one of the worst ideas ever.
Among the things that could go wrong are the obvious like letting thieves delivery drivers case your home and car.
Delivery drivers could easily plant drugs or weapons
Once a Walmart/Amazon employee has been granted access to your home or car, all bets are off.
How long will it be before a delivery driver, plants drugs or weapons inside them?
And how long will it be before someone’s car or home is searched because a Walmart or Amazon employee saw something suspicious?
Once law enforcement receives a call about something suspicious, a customer’s car or home can and will be searched.
If you think customer service sucks now just wait, it’s about to get a whole lot worse.
Computerworld‘s article also mentions that hackers could intercept the code that lets delivery drivers gain access to your home or vehicle. Once they have the code a hacker or thief would have unfettered access to them.
Who wouldn’t feel safe knowing a hacker could intercept the code because it is sent over a non-secure wireless network.
Can anyone say internet cafe or wireless hotspot?
Police could enter a customers home or vehicle without a warrant
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Here’s a scenario that Amazon and Walmart does not want to talk about.
A delivery driver decides to use your bathroom or steal something because you granted them access. You call the police because you’re worried the delivery person is ransacking your property. But once the police arrive, they now have probable cause to search your car or home without a warrant.
How’s that for customer service?
But criminals aren’t the only thing customers should worry about. What Americans really need to worry about is law enforcement.
For years, police departments have been using Stingrays and other devices to mimic and capture cell phone conversations, texts and pictures.
The StingrayII can impersonate four cellular communications towers at once, monitoring up to four cellular provider networks simultaneously. (Source)
Imagine police intercepting Amazon or Walmart’s code and using it to gain access to a home or car without a warrant. Imagine law enforcement using a Wi-Fi jammer to block a webcam from recording them as they enter a customer’s home.
So who should you worry about more?
Hackers or thieves gaining access to your property, or law enforcement?
Amazon and Walmart use smart lock companies to spy on customers
Phrame uses a smart license frame to track customers’ vehicles 24/7.
No matter what type of car you drive, Phrame will report real-time security alerts straight to your phone. You’ll be notified about unauthorized movements, break-ins, crashes, towing activity and any attempts of theft. (Source)
August uses smart locks to spy on customers homes 24/7.
With our proprietary DoorSense and Auto-Lock technologies, you’ll know your door is both closed and locked. Track activity at your door with a 24/7 activity feed… (Source)
Garageio uses smart locks to spy on customers homes 24/7.
Garageio will alert you if your garage door has been left open, allowing you to close it immediately with a single swipe. (Source)
Two more concerns about smart lock companies…
How long are these companies storing customer data for, and how easy is it for law enforcement to gain access to that data?
To say that giving corporations access to your car and home is a bad idea would be an understatement. But paying corporations to spy on our homes and cars 24/7 is asinine.
You can read more from MassPrivateI at his blog here.