E-Commerce Giant’s Move Raises Concerns


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While the idea of a contactless scanning of your palm print to pay for goods during a pandemic might seem like a good idea, it’s one to be met with caution, warns techcrunch.com.

Amazon is now offering $10 in promotional credit if you enroll your palm prints in its checkout-free stores and link it to your Amazon account.

The Amazon One biometric palm print scanners enable customers to pay for goods in checkout-free stores across the US by waving their palm prints over one of these scanners. 

The scanning hardware captures palm characteristics to create a signature, which is stored in the cloud and used to confirm your identity when you’re in one of its stores.

By linking your palm signature to your Amazon account, Amazon can use the data it collects, like shopping history, to target ads, offers and recommendations to you over time.

Amazon also says it stores palm data indefinitely, unless you choose to delete the data once there are no outstanding transactions left, or if you don’t use the feature for two years.

Given Amazon’s past conduct – the controversial facial recognition technology, which it historically sold to police and law enforcement, the recent move raises privacy concerns as biometric data enables companies to track people, warns Albert Fox Cahn, the executive director of Surveillance Technology Oversight Project.

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