How much does your palm print cost? If you ask Amazon, you get a promotional credit of 10 US dollars if you register your palm prints at a free paid store and link it to your Amazon account.
Last year, Amazon launched its new biometric palm prints scanner, Amazon One, which allows customers in multiple stores to pay for goods by moving their fingerprints across one of these scanners. By February, Amazon’s grocery, book, and other 4-star Amazon shops in Seattle had begun using palm scanners.
Among other states, Amazon has expanded its usage of biometric scanning technology to its facilities in New York, NJ, MD, and Texas since then, among others.
The retail and cloud giant says the palm-scanning hardware “captures the minimal features of your palm. Both surface details such as lines and edges, and subcutaneous features such as vein patterns. It’s just to create a signature on the palm of your hand”. Cloud is use to verify your identity while you are in one of their stores.
What exactly is Amazon doing with this data? Your own palm print can’t do much. Although Amazon says it uses an infinite “subset” of anonymous palm data to improve the technology. However, by linking it to your Amazon account, Amazon may use the data it collects, such as your shopping history, to target ads, offers, and recommendations to you over time.
Amazon’s efforts to develop biometric technology
Amazon also says it will retain Palm data indefinitely unless you want to delete the data after there are no more outstanding transactions or you use the feature for two years.
While the idea of touchless fingerprint scanning to pay for goods during a pandemic may seem like a novelty. It should be approached with caution and skepticism in light of Amazon’s previous efforts to develop biometric technology. Amazon’s controversial facial recognition technology. Which has been sold to police and law enforcement agencies in the past. It has been the subject of lawsuits alleging that the company violated state laws that prohibit the unauthorized use of personal biometric information.
“The future of science fiction is dystopian now. It’s terrible that Amazon wants people to sell their bodies, but it’s even worse if people do it for low prices,” said Albert Fox Kahn, general manager of New York-based Surveillance.
Businesses and governments can only monitor us via biometrics. You can change your name, you can change your social security number, but you can’t change your fingerprint. The more we normalize this tactic, the harder it will be to escape. What will our future look like if we don’t draw a line here? Kahn expressed concern.