This image taken from video shows an Amazon package containing a GPS tracker on the porch of a Jersey City, N.J. residence after its delivery Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018. The explosion in online shopping has led to porch pirates and stoop surfers swiping holiday packages from unsuspecting residents. The cops in one New Jersey city are trying to catch the thieves with some trickery of their own.
Enlarge Icon
This image taken from video shows an Amazon package containing a GPS tracker on the porch of a Jersey City, N.J. residence after its delivery Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018. The explosion in online shopping has led to porch pirates and stoop surfers swiping holiday packages from unsuspecting residents. The cops in one New Jersey city are trying to catch the thieves with some trickery of their own.
Credit: AP Photo/Robert Bumsted

When Amazon becomes your block watch captain

You can go down a pretty deep YouTube rabbit hole watching videos of people stealing packages off front porches. You may even get to see a few get their comeuppance.

But this can make people paranoid about the safety of their homes and neighborhoods.

Amazon and other companies are offering us technological solutions that promise to address this feeling.

The advent of video doorbells, like Ring, have put inexpensive home security in the hands of vastly more people. Social networks like Nextdoor or apps like Neighbors were supposed to offer us ways so reclaim our sense of personal safety.

But some of it has backfired — in a big way.

In the season two finale of Prime(d), we go deep into how neighborhood social networks and surveillance are changing our behavior in our neighborhoods. And we ask what that’s costing us as a society, so we can all decide whether it’s worth it.

We're already researching stories for our next season on Prime(d). Got an idea for us? Send our reporters an email: Carolyn Adolph (cadolph@kuow.org) or Joshua McNichols (jmcnichols@kuow.org).

Listen to the podcast by clicking the play button above or wherever you get your podcasts. Our theme song is "Ripples on an Evaporated Lake" by Raymond Scott. You also heard "Heartline" by Pezzner, a Seattle artist.

Tell Us What You Think

We'd love to hear your thoughts