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  1. - Top - End - #31
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Amazon Taking Photos of Your Front Door

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post

    EDIT:
    What your front door looks like is pretty much public by definition, unless you live in a mansion with a gate or something (and even then what the gate looks like isn't private)
    The issue is that technology has radically increased what you can do with information that, decades ago, was almost universally agreed to be public information, which has caused folks to change how they think about the reasonable expectation of privacy. In the United States at least, your reasonable expectation of privacy was pretty much limited to your home, and certain specific public situations: your car, closed containers or concealed parts of your clothing, public restrooms, lockers, etc. In short, if you took steps to physically prevent others from overhearing or seeing something you wanted kept private, in a manner that you had the right to do, then it was reasonable for you to expect that your secrets remain secret.

    The catch was that the individual had some minimal level of responsibility for their own privacy. If you didn't want people to see some document, then you keep it in your home, or in a suitcase, or in your pockets, and the law recognized that the government and private individuals shouldn't forcibly extract that document from you without a damn good reason. If you latched your bathroom stall behind you, someone shouldn't be crawling under the door to see what you're up to.

    As technology changed, our expectations have as well, as has the law. We pretty much all agree that the same social norms that protect us from the guy crawling under the bathroom door should also protect us from hidden cameras in the same stall. However, this is the point where reasonable people start disagreeing on the line. Even within the United States, wire-tapping rules vary wildly. Some states believe that every party to a conversation needs to know about and consent--even if consent is demonstrated only by not leaving the conversation after realizing it's being recorded. Others only require that a single party knows about the recording, the general idea being that you have a reasonable expectation that a third-party nobody knows about shouldn't be eavesdropping on a conversation, but since a party to the conversation can share its substance anyway, having a recording doesn't make a huge difference.

    Where people really disagree, and what I find troubling, is when people don't do anything to avoid being seen, heard, or recorded, but then they still expect privacy. I think this line of thinking has led to some good results: While I don't think anybody has the right to expect that when you leave your home, everyone else should pretend you're invisible and ignore what you're doing, I'm glad that the government doesn't have CCTV blanketing every public space.

    However, I also think it's brought about a lot of laws and expectations where individuals essentially put their "private" activities out in public, but then expect the government or society to impose limits on how that information is used. Humans naturally like to gather, organize, and share information. While I agree that we should put reasonable limits on egregiously intrusive conduct, such as a guy following you around without your consent, video recording all of your public activities for a day, I find it troubling (not to mention a nightmare to enforce) to contemplate norms where you can see a guy you know doing something in public, and you're expected not to tell anyone what you saw, or use what you know about him to draw inferences about what he's doing.

  2. - Top - End - #32
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Bohandas's Avatar

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    Default Re: Amazon Taking Photos of Your Front Door

    Yeah tecunology chanhes things. Years ago taking a photo of your door would have been creepy because photos cost money and cameras were bulky so someone taking a photo of your front door way back then would have to be weirdly determined. But now photos are part of everyday life so it's no longer stalkerish

    EDIT:
    As for the front door specifically anyone who walks or drives by can see it.

  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: Amazon Taking Photos of Your Front Door

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    Yeah tecunology chanhes things. Years ago taking a photo of your door would have been creepy because photos cost money and cameras were bulky so someone taking a photo of your front door way back then would have to be weirdly determined. But now photos are part of everyday life so it's no longer stalkerish
    Creepy ain't necessarily illegal.
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  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: Amazon Taking Photos of Your Front Door

    The point is it's not creepy now because you don't have to go obsessively out of your way to do it. It's not a sign of obsession like it would've been back then

  5. - Top - End - #35
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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Amazon Taking Photos of Your Front Door

    Meh. The basic rule of everything even vaguely connected to the internet is that within 24 hours of information being posted online, someone, somewhere, who shouldn't have access to it has access to it. People I've never heard of know far more intimate details about me than what my door looks like.

  6. - Top - End - #36
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Amazon Taking Photos of Your Front Door

    Hi, folks, OP here.

    Just to clarify, Iím not asking for input about whether this is creepy or illegal. Iím just asking if anyone knows a way to opt out of it.

    I found one internet article from about a year ago which insists itís easy to opt out, and gives step-by-step instructionsóbut those instructions donít seem to apply anymore. If thereís still a way to opt out, Amazon is doing a really good job of hiding it, since I can't find it anywhere on my account.

    So, this is my question: does anyone know how to opt out of this?

  7. - Top - End - #37
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Amazon Taking Photos of Your Front Door

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Creepy ain't necessarily illegal.
    True, but the two are often inextricably tied, and examining what's illegal at a given time is often a good way to see how the most conservative boundaries of acceptability have changed with time.

    In the U.S. in particular, the only place privacy is explicitly mentioned in the Bill of Rights in the Fourth Amendment, where the language refers to "the reasonable expectation of privacy" and gives nothing more detailed or concrete regarding what that reasonable expectation should be. In that respect, the law explicitly asserts that societal norms (the umbrella under which "is this creepy?" probably falls) should be a major basis for how the law treats privacy concerns.


    @OP: As others have pointed out, the guys actually taking the picture are most likely some sort of subcontractor, which means that there probably isn't a handy automated system to opt out without having to interact with a human. If it's even possible to opt out, you'll most likely have to talk to Amazon customer service, and hope that they're willing to somehow flag your account as opting out in perpetuity, or tell you a way to put it in the comments for your order.

    If they're not willing to do specifically do that for you, you might also see if you can to opt in to requiring signature confirmation for every order you make, no matter how small. Since this would largely resolve any issues with proof of delivery and liability, it makes the picture unnecessary. Also, it would mean that they can only release the package to somebody there, meaning that it would be really awkward to then take a picture of the front door.
    Last edited by Xyril; 2019-05-20 at 03:04 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #38
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Amazon Taking Photos of Your Front Door

    And if you DO find a way to opt out and then a package gets lost on its way to you they're definitely going to assume you're scamming them and not give you a refund

  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Default Re: Amazon Taking Photos of Your Front Door

    P.O. Box or a storage unit would both accept packages, storage units can accept very large ones if you import bicycles or car parts or the like. They will put the item in the unit for you and lock the door behind them.

    Source: Former storage manager.
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  10. - Top - End - #40
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    Default Re: Amazon Taking Photos of Your Front Door

    Quote Originally Posted by Cazero View Post
    Or he's not exactly 32. We humans tend to skip the decimal point on age.
    We also drop the decimal via unusual rounding. Somebody who turns age X + 1 tomorrow is referred to as being age X. Even more weirdly, we consider them age X + 1 as soon as their birthday begins, even though if I was born at near midnight, at 6:00 AM I'm much farther from the clock time of by birth than I was the date of my birth 6 hours and a minute prior. Yet at 11:59 PM the day prior, I'm still considered age X.

    Mathematically I find this obnoxious, hence I'm about 32.
    Last edited by warty goblin; 2019-05-20 at 05:39 PM.
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  11. - Top - End - #41
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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Amazon Taking Photos of Your Front Door

    Quote Originally Posted by warty goblin View Post
    We also drop the decimal via unusual rounding. Somebody who turns age X + 1 tomorrow is referred to as being age X.
    That's not unusual rounding, that's perfectly usual truncation, which is just as valid a mathematical technique as rounding is.

  12. - Top - End - #42
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Amazon Taking Photos of Your Front Door

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    This is always my response when someone says something like this. When did people's names and address become top secret information?
    Since people decided that the anonymity of the internet gave them carte blanche to say anything and everything that springs to mind (or worse)...

  13. - Top - End - #43
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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Amazon Taking Photos of Your Front Door

    I think that I must have some setting selected where Amazon never has to deliver packages on time. I mean like *never* . . . *never ever*. I expect there is a delivery vehicle that circles my block until the delivery would be late by 1-2 days, and then delivers the package. I understand that I might be able to start getting free months of Amazon Prime from this.
    Last edited by darkrose50; 2019-05-21 at 07:12 AM.

  14. - Top - End - #44
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    Default Re: Amazon Taking Photos of Your Front Door

    Quote Originally Posted by darkrose50 View Post
    I think that I must have some setting selected where Amazon never has to deliver packages on time. I mean like *never* . . . *never ever*. I expect there is a delivery vehicle that circles my block until the delivery would be late by 1-2 days, and then delivers the package. I understand that I might be able to start getting free months of Amazon Prime from this.
    You could have gotten years at this point if it's as bad as you say. Don't think they're as generous anymore.
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  15. - Top - End - #45
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Amazon Taking Photos of Your Front Door

    Originally Posted by Xyril
    Öthere probably isn't a handy automated system to opt out without having to interact with a human.
    Two different articles insist that thereís a way to opt out from the Orders page.

    Unfortunately Iíve been all over my Orders page and canít find anything like this, which is why Iím asking if anyone else knows how.

    Originally Posted by Peelee
    Don't think they're as generous anymore.
    They are nowhere near so generous these days. When I cancelled my Amazon Prime, I expected at least a token effort to keep me as a member, but they didnít bat an eye. So many people have been signing up for Prime that they donít care about a few cancellations.

    Theyíre also much more stringent about replacement books. About a year ago I had a real problem with books arriving crumpled, mangled or otherwise damaged, due to extremely poor packaging that offered zero protection. This was especially hard on slender softbacks like Pathfinder modules and Player Companions.

    For a while, Amazon would take my word on the damage, but they changed their policy to require a return of the damaged item. Itís more of a hassle, but itís certainly fair, and I can understand why theyíd want to do that. But not nearly so generous as they used to be.

  16. - Top - End - #46
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    Default Re: Amazon Taking Photos of Your Front Door

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    The point is it's not creepy now because you don't have to go obsessively out of your way to do it. It's not a sign of obsession like it would've been back then
    On the flip side, only that creep would have it.

    Now the digital creeps known as Amazon and Google can share it with anyone they like instantly, or have it stolen from their files and shared by anyone with some resources and time.
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  17. - Top - End - #47
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    Default Re: Amazon Taking Photos of Your Front Door

    Quote Originally Posted by Maelstrom View Post
    Since people decided that the anonymity of the internet gave them carte blanche to say anything and everything that springs to mind (or worse)...
    It's older than that. My folks went ex-directory some time in the early 1980s, as a result of some creepy phone calls from randos.

  18. - Top - End - #48
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    Default Re: Amazon Taking Photos of Your Front Door

    I personally don't have a problem with that. Not sure if they take more than one picture, but usually I receive the pictures only with my door on the picture so I dont think that might be a privacy problem

  19. - Top - End - #49
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Amazon Taking Photos of Your Front Door

    To follow up on this, I never could find a way to disable the photo-taking option from my account--which is entirely deliberate on Amazon's part.

    So, I had to get on the phone with customer service, and go through all the miserable rigamarole that usually involves, which ended up with me talking to a supervisor and learning that she, too, had absolutely no idea how to deactivate this "feature."

    I persisted, so she eventually figured it out, but still no option for me to make the change myself--she had to deactivate it on her end. It seems to have worked, because I'm not seeing photos on my most recent order; but the question is if they've stopped taking photos, or if they've just stopped posting them.

    I wish one of these hip, trendy, stylish digital-life websites would stop admiring their own futurism long enough to do a little update article about this. It's clearly been a change in Amazon policy within the past year, but I couldn't find any inkling of it online.

  20. - Top - End - #50
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    Default Re: Amazon Taking Photos of Your Front Door

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    Hi, folks, OP here.

    Just to clarify, Iím not asking for input about whether this is creepy or illegal. Iím just asking if anyone knows a way to opt out of it.
    No. It isn't possible.

    Anything visible from a location with public access is public. If they are allowed to deliver a package to your front door, then they are allowed to photograph it.

    They can't take a picture inside your door or window, but public access is, well, public.

  21. - Top - End - #51
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    Default Re: Amazon Taking Photos of Your Front Door

    Quote Originally Posted by halfeye View Post
    The really bad thing is combining name and address, but photographs of your front door coupled with your name are a significant threat.
    Yea no. A picture of your front door adds virtually zero useable information. Your address already gets a person to the location. Are you afraid that a picture of your door is going to tell someone what tools they need to pick your lock? Don't worry, a crow bar is easier and works on almost every lock. And their are other, easier, ways to obtain entrance to most building that do not require anyone going through a door or window.

    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    Pictures aren't searchable, and far more useful databases (name and address) with lower security exist.
    Wrong. You've never done a reverse image lookup on Google?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aedilred View Post
    If you're really concerned about people being able to identify where you live, have your packages delivered somewhere else, whether to a PO Box, an office, a click and collect point, etc.
    ^^ This

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    but the question is if they've stopped taking photos, or if they've just stopped posting them.
    Just posting them to the visible part of your account. They are probably visible to Amazon agents, and most certainly are still in their database. I can tell you with some certainty that the person delivering your package is not checking to see if you have a "no pictures" policy. I'm sure they are told to take a picture of every delivery. Training and compliance would be a nightmare to try and get them not to take pictures at all but 1 houses on their list of deliveries in a given week.

    In short, all you (probably) have managed to do is make less information available to yourself, not to anyone else.

  22. - Top - End - #52
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    Default Re: Amazon Taking Photos of Your Front Door

    Quote Originally Posted by LordEntrails View Post
    Wrong. You've never done a reverse image lookup on Google?
    Which works great given that exact photo stored somewhere, and a lot worse when your input is something like two different photos of the same thing - given the storage location I wouldn't be remotely worried here.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

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  23. - Top - End - #53
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    Default Re: Amazon Taking Photos of Your Front Door

    Quote Originally Posted by LordEntrails View Post
    Yea no. A picture of your front door adds virtually zero useable information. Your address already gets a person to the location. Are you afraid that a picture of your door is going to tell someone what tools they need to pick your lock? Don't worry, a crow bar is easier and works on almost every lock. And their are other, easier, ways to obtain entrance to most building that do not require anyone going through a door or window.
    Exactly. Some of these posters are having a knee jerk reaction to something new that they found unsettling, but haven't actually thought it through at all. Delivery companies have had your address associated with your name since forever. It's never been illegal to walk down the street and take pictures of buildings (pictures through bedroom windows starts raising issues, but front doors are uncontroversial). Google has been doing street maps for a long time where they take that concept to the next level and systematically take pictures along every stretch of every public street. That was somewhat controversial at the time, but that ship has sailed, and apart from needing to blur a few things Google wasn't found to be doing anything wrong. So unless you have a very long private driveway or live in a very remote area, your front door is already associated with your address. So any business that you've had to give your address to, such as a package deliverer, already knows what your front door looks like. There is no reason that people need to hack a delivery company to get a picture of your door. They could access that company or any number of other databases to get your address and then they'd have the door picture from that anyway. This new step isn't changing anything tangible, it's just unfamiliar enough that people want to complain about it not meeting their expectations.

    I've used a regular delivery service that has done this for years. It usually doesn't make any difference, but every once in a while they'll have a new driver and there will be a mixup, and in those situations it's helpful in figuring out what went wrong. Once they just left it at the guest entrance at the side of my house, so it was easy to find with a picture. But once they showed me a picture of a completely different house, that didn't look like mine or any nearby neighbor that I could recognize. I just responded to the guy telling him that and suggesting he look at previous days photos to see it's a totally different house. Because of the picture evidence there was zero ambiguity that they'd messed up the delivery, and they not only refunded me with no hassle but gave my account a credit for the trouble. Without the picture there's always a question of whether the customer is trying to scam them, and they'd have to be more skeptical with refunds.
    Last edited by Errata; Today at 03:22 PM.

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