Amazon to pay $10 in credit to people who scan palm print in the US
What is the value of your palm print? If you ask Amazon, enrolling your palm prints at its checkout-free stores and linking them to your Amazon account will earn you about $10 in promotional credit. Customers can pay for things in some stores by waving their handprints over one of the new Amazon palm print […]
What is the value of your palm print? If you ask Amazon, enrolling your palm prints at its checkout-free stores and linking them to your Amazon account will earn you about $10 in promotional credit. Customers can pay for things in some stores by waving their handprints over one of the new Amazon palm print biometrics scanners, Amazon One. Amazon introduced it last year. The company has already spread its palm scanners to additional Amazon grocery, book, and 4-star stores in Seattle by February.
Amazon palm print biometrics technology is widespread in its stores across the United States. They include New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Texas.
The retail and cloud behemoth says its palm scanning device “captures the minute characteristics of your palm — both surface-area details like lines and ridges as well as subcutaneous features such as vein patterns — to create your palm signature”. Then, it’s saved in the cloud and applied to verify your identity when you’re in one of its stores.
How to claim your credit with the Amazon palm print biometrics
What precisely is Amazon doing with this information? Amazon claims to employ an undisclosed “subset” of anonymized palm data to develop the technology. But your palm print alone could not achieve much. However, if you link it to your Amazon account, Amazon can use the information you provide, such as your buying history, to target adverts, offers, and suggestions to you over time.
It also claims that it will keep palm data indefinitely. Unless you want to remove it once there are no more pending transactions or if you don’t utilize the function for two years.
The idea of scanning your palm print to pay for things during a pandemic may seem new. But it should be approached with care and suspicion; given Amazon’s previous attempts in biometric technology development. Amazon’s contentious facial recognition technology, which it previously provided to police and law enforcement, has been the subject of lawsuits. Alleging that the corporation broke state laws prohibiting the use of personal biometric data without consent.
“The dystopian future of science fiction is now. It’s horrifying that Amazon is asking people to sell their bodies, but it’s even worse that people are doing it for such a low price,” said Albert Fox Cahn, the executive director of the New York-based Surveillance Technology Oversight Project, in an email to TechCrunch.
“Biometric data is one of the only ways that companies and governments can track us permanently. You can change your name, you can change your Social Security number, but you can’t change your palm print. The more we normalize these tactics, the harder they will be to escape. If we don’t [draw a] line in the sand here, I am very fearful what our future will look like,” said Cahn.