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Amazon introduces palm-recognition technology

Via The Verge

Amazon has unveiled a new biometric recognition technology at its Amazon Go stores that scans and analyzes a person’s palm to identify them.

The Issue

Amazon’s new palm recognition technology analyzes the shape and vein configuration of a person in order to identify them. While its currently in use to facilitate payment at Amazon Go stores, Amazon envisions the technology being used to authenticate a person at an office, sporting events, or in similar circumstances.

However, unlike the case with Face ID or Touch ID and similar mobile device biometric authentication, Amazon isn’t storing the data locally or on a device – it’s stored on their own servers (this likely, the most practical application, given that the information is required at multiple locations across the United States). This has prompted privacy concerns because it exposes the data to risk in the case of a data breach and because Amazon hasn’t had a great reputation when it comes to user data and privacy.

How the data will be stored is yet to be known and whether Amazon will share the data with any partners in the future may cause even more privacy concern.

Your Move

This palm recognition technology is part of Amazon One, a opt-in payments system that requires you to sign up with your credit card, phone number, and Amazon account. If you don’t want your biometric data captured and held by Amazon, don’t sign up for an account and choose a different payment option if you find yourself at an Amazon Go store.

To learn more about Amazon’s palm recognition technology and the privacy concerns around it, check out The Verge’s article here.

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