Today, we ran across a news article talking about a key copying kiosk which will allow users not only to make new key copies, but to store copies of those keys “in the cloud” as well. The idea is customers can come back at any time to access their accounts, pull up their saved keys and get new copies on the spot.
These little boxes are on their way to Chicago right now, so of course we had a few thoughts about them.
These boxes will make residential rekeying more important than ever.
Those key copy boxes have definitely made an effort to provide good security–no argument there. You have to provide a fingerprint to get access to your stored copies, for example. Well and good–it will help prevent hackers from getting keys to every door in Chicago.
It does not, however, mean that you’ll never need the services of a locksmith ever again. Consider the following scenario.
You purchase a house or a condo. The former owner turns over all of the existing key copies…except for the ones that are stored in the cloud. He or she then goes back to the kiosk, which has no way of knowing this person no longer has a right to access the key stored in the cloud. They copy the key and come back whenever they want to steal, snoop, or worse.
Or how about a babysitter or a house sitter? This is almost as dangerous as the key copying app, only now the criminal gets instant access.
Bottom line? You move into it? You’d better rekey it. Fire an employee? Better rekey it. Hand your key out to someone you do not absolutely trust? Better call a locksmith and rekey it.
Buying a used car? Rekey that, too.
These boxes are supposedly capable of copying smart keys and transponder keys too. This means someone could sell you a car on Monday and take it back on Tuesday, unless, of course, you call and get your car completely rekeyed.
Having your keys in the cloud does not mean never needing a locksmith ever again.
Being able to get a replacement key in an instant is very helpful–but only if you’re near one of the boxes. If you’re out in the suburbs or too far away to be brought to one then your safest and most convenient bet is probably going to be a mobile locksmith.
Bottom line: use these kiosks if you like, but watch your security and keep our number handy anyway.