Calls grow for Amazon to address privacy, safety concerns following Turn To Tara investigation

Amazon insists its devices don't grant access to personal phone lines or computers because the "'key" is connected to the internet. Some feel it's just a matter of time before hackers strike.

News 12 Staff

Nov 21, 2022, 11:01 PM

Updated 545 days ago

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There are growing calls for Amazon to address privacy and safety concerns after a Turn To Tara investigation exposed vulnerabilities with its newest delivery service, Key For Business.
The service allows drivers to enter people's homes without a key.
Oscar Gilcrest, a Yonkers building superintendent, claims he witnessed a worker hired by Amazon trying to break into the telecom system at 270 North Broadway last year.
"I said, 'Did you get permission to be here?' He didn't answer," says Gilcrest. 
Things got so heated that Gilcrest called the police. 
Officers who responded filed a criminal mischief report after a mystery box was discovered inside the building's Knox box. 
"They came out and even they were afraid to touch it because they didn't know what it was," he said. 
The "mystery" was a device that allows the Amazon drivers to make contactless deliveries without a key fob - something Gilcrest says no one gave them permission to install. 
Unfortunately, Gilcrest's frustration is not unique, as the Turn To Tara team has heard from building managers across the tri-state and the country following News 12's investigation that aired earlier this year. 
"I think everybody should know because...you don't know what they were doing," says Gilcrest. "And what this thing was for. You know, they could be tapping into people's phone line."
Amazon insists its devices don't grant access to personal phone lines or computers because the "'key" is connected to the internet.  Some feel it's just a matter of time before hackers strike. 
State Sen. Shelley Mayer, in response to News 12's discovery, says she promises to press for answers.   
Another lawmaker, Sen. Kevin Thomas, from Long Island, has drafted legislation to combat the problem. 
His bill would require mandatory consent from property managers, board of directors and residents before Amazon makes any future installations, which he wants to be supervised.


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