Security worries surround the KeyMe app for iOS; Android version on the way

Security worries surround the KeyMe app for iOS; Android version on the way
Back in November 2013, we told you about KeyMe an iOS app that allows you to scan a key using the iPhone camera. This creates a digital copy of the key. If you are ever locked out, you use the app to have a new key cut and delivered to you within the hour by a local locksmith. That service will cost you $59. If you don't mind waiting for three hours to have the key delivered, your cost is just $20.

KeyMe also has local kiosks that can store digital copies of your key, and cut a new one with a validation of your identity using a fingerprint scanner. You can also have a key shipped to you via snail mail for $5.99. While this all sounds wonderful, especially for those with the habit of locking themselves out of their house, with this new technology comes a dark side that can easily be exploited by those with criminal intentions.

As WPLG in Miami reported, valets parking your car can snap a picture of your key and have a digital copy on their phone, from which they can make their own key to your house. Someone even used the KeyMe app to break into their neighbor's home. To show you how easy it is to do, reporter Christina Vazquez took the house key belonging to her managing editor, presumably without him knowing. She followed the directions and took a photo of the key on a white background using the camera of her iPhone. The key arrived by mail and lo and behold, it opened the front door with ease as you can see in the video below.

KeyMe is a great idea with some useful applications. But it might be too tempting for those who handle keys and are desperate for money. If you're worried, the Associated Locksmiths of America suggests buying a high-security locking system from Medeco. It costs more money, but the keys are hard to copy. And by the way, as if you needed to worry more about this, the KeyMe app is coming soon to Android.



Thanks for the tip, Suzanne!

source: WPLG

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6 Comments

1. AlikMalix unregistered

This is a great service. And great app. But with all things security - u gotta watch yourself. You don't need an app to gain access to any house - house locks are false sense of security anyway. For someone who took a short course of unlocking deadbolts and locks without a key - you begin to understand how insecure our homes really are and how easy it is to bypass a lock. Button line, app or not, if someone willing to illegally access your house - they will. You are not going to stop them by eliminating an app. It's like false belief that if you take away guns from public - murders will be reduced - if someone is out to kill someone, they will find a way guns or not.

3. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Don't pass your key to anyone you don't trust. In cooperate setting always use biometric or secure digital access card. Especially with such apps around. Duplicating your keys take a few seconds so how can you defend against that. This app make me decide to get biometric for my house doors.

5. AlikMalix unregistered

It takes no effort to kick your door on - biometric or keyed.

6. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

I am not trying to stop the Justice League from coming into my house.

2. techloverNYC

Posts: 601; Member since: Nov 20, 2012

Anyone besides me felt that this service is expensive? $59 for 1 basic key is really expensive considering that you can have basic keys made for less then $1. The $5.99 via mail option is pretty much useless, who would wait 1 week for keys, considering most people using this app are probably locked out of their house. Beside you never know who have access to your key information like this article pointed out.

4. AlikMalix unregistered

I had to kick in my neighbors door (upon request) as she locked a kid inside the house and he was too little. She waited for hours for family member to show up with a spare key - and they didn't. This would have been helpful then. Now they have a door repair on their hands - and typically that takes longer to fix than waiting for the key to be delivered and much more expensive than $59.

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