Amazon is offering to drop off packages straight to the trunk of your parked car.
The online giant on Tuesday announced that delivery workers will now be able to place packages in certain vehicles parked at homes, offices and other publicly accessible areas. The service is available to Prime members in 37 cities who drive Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac cars with an active OnStar account, as well as Volvos with an active Volvo On Call account.
The program is the latest effort by the online behemoth to make it easier for customers to receive online orders. Package theft long has been a persistent problem for online shoppers, and Amazon says in-car delivery is one way to combat the problem.
But privacy and legal experts say in-car delivery raises a number of concerns about consumer data, and the ways Amazon can use that information to draw conclusions about shoppers and their habits.
And as with in-home delivery, shoppers may be concerned about letting a stranger into their vehicle.
“Amazon has a voracious appetite for people’s information, and this is one more example of its breathless rush to grab every piece of data and turn it into new forms of revenue,” said Jeffrey Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, a Washington, D.C., not-for-profit.
In November, the company launched Amazon Key, a service that relies on a home-security camera and smart lock to allow couriers into shoppers’ homes to deliver packages. Rival Walmart last year announced a similar program in which delivery workers could bring groceries into shoppers’ kitchens and unload them into their refrigerators, even if nobody is home. (Jeff Bezos, the founder and chief executive of Amazon, also owns the Washington Post.)