For as long as federal mail carriers have trod to the thresholds of American homes to make deliveries, this country’s dogs have barked their insistent dissents against trespass. What success they’ve had! The U.S. Postal Service always leaves letters and packages outside in a box or pushes them through a slot rather than intruding through our doors.
But now, despite the centuries dogs have invested in their project and the collective security they provided on our behalf, humankind has devised a betrayal of their efforts: Amazon Key.
“For many online shoppers, packages often linger for distressingly long hours outside their homes,” The New York Times explains. “Now, if customers give it permission, Amazon’s couriers will unlock the front doors and drop packages inside when no one is home ... [Amazon Key] will require customers to buy a kit that starts at $250 and includes a security camera made by the company and a smart door lock made by Yale or Kwikset. When a delivery comes to a customer’s door, the lock first helps Amazon verify that the driver is at the correct address at the appropriate time. It then starts recording video and unlocks the door, capturing the entire visit.”
Isabel, the dog in my life, can be stubbornly inarticulate. Still, she has great instincts, and has expressed nothing so clearly in the years I’ve known her than extreme wariness of simply letting strangers with parcels into our house.