KeyMe app replicates keys with simple scan

New app becomes security concern for some

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – A smartphone can do just about anything these days, from ordering food and online banking to making a copy of a person's keys from a simple scan.

Greg Marsh is the chief executive officer of the new KeyMe app.

"We are really trying to make it easy and secure to copy keys and solve lockouts," Marsh said.

App users can save digital copies of their keys so that, in a pinch, they can order a replacement with the tap of their fingers.

"We have guys from (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and NASA and Lockheed Martin applying really sophisticated software techniques into the locksmith industry for the first time," Marsh said.

It sounds sensible enough, but as a Wired article said, parking valets suddenly require a ludicrous level of trust.

Some find it scary that a key can be duplicated with a picture.

Local 10 News consumer advocate Christina Vazquez put the app to the test, placing a house key on a white piece of paper as the app suggested, scanned both sides and paid the $5.99. A few days later, a key arrived at Vazquez's desk.

"So if you go to a locksmith now and pay cash, there's absolutely no verification. ... We have information that can actually create that accountability so a verified user (has) a transaction history -- a financial paper trail," Marsh said.

Jos Weyers, a world-renowned lock-picking enthusiast from the Netherlands, said the world of 3D printing is here to stay, so people should safeguard their keys as they would the password to their computer.

"If you misplace your keys for the better part of 20 seconds, you should consider them lost," he said. "And if you find them afterwards, that's called a souvenir."   

The Associated Locksmiths of America recommends buying a high-security locking system like Medeco. They are expensive, but the keys can't be easily duplicated, not even by the KeyMe app.

Follow Christina Vazquez on Twitter @CallChristinaTV

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