Porch pirates have become such a problem for Amazon that the company has begun to take photos of packages it leaves at the doorsteps of customers.
Depending on what part of the country you live in, your package from Amazon may be accompanied by a photo uploaded to your account, offering visual confirmation of its delivery.
The service is part of what the company calls Amazon Logistics Photo On Delivery (AMZL) and requires online sign-up for customers to access the image. The photo may show up in your account when you track a package via the Your Orders page on the website, the company says.
Amazon is taking pictures of your doorstep — here’s why
Customer service reps retain the right to look at these photos to troubleshoot issues with delivery, such as damaged boxes or if one goes missing.
Amazon says it won’t post delivery photos on orders shipped to addresses that are marked as confidential (like registry or wish list addresses). The photo-taking venture recently drew headlines after a homeowner posted about it on Twitter.
— Heather (@Heather_PLS) September 7, 2017
In October, Amazon debuted the Cloud Cam and Key, which allows couriers to open your front door and place your items inside.
The company also recently bought smart doorbell maker Ring for $1 billion, according to CNBC.com. The purchase clears the way for Amazon to pair its voice assistant Alexa with the camera-equipped doorbell.
The photography feature has reportedly only been available for about six months, but a gander at Amazon’s Facebook page shows plenty of customers complaining about it and related issues like drivers leaving packages out in the open.
A spokeswoman for Amazon responded to Team Clark’s concerns about the photo-on-delivery service, telling us that it is a valuable confirmation method for the company.
“Amazon is constantly investing and innovating on behalf of our customers,” company spokeswoman Kristen Kish said. “Amazon Logistics Photo On Delivery provides visual delivery confirmation — it shows customers that their package was safely delivered and where, and it’s one of many delivery innovations we’re working on to improve convenience for customers.”
There are still some privacy issues that remain unaddressed, including what Amazon plans to do with the photos of people’s front doors. The company says that once drivers upload the images to Amazon’s servers they can no longer access them — but who do the photos ultimately belong to?
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