September 24, 2021

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What happens to biometric data from Amazon One payment technology?

A group of US senators sent a letter to Andy Gacy, the new CEO of Amazon, in order to find out how the biometric data coming from Amazon One, the hand-recognition payment technology gradually deployed at points of sale, will be deployed to the world. United State.

Amazon is somewhat vague about the exact operation of Amazon One. In the FAQ dedicated to this topic, he simply explained that his technology uses people’s “unique palm signature” to eliminate friction in paying in-store.

In practice, once a bank card is integrated into a dedicated reader, two scanners and two cameras analyze the top and inside of the palm to find “distinctive marks” in order to generate an ID using a computer vision algorithm. It will then be linked to the credit card, and if the person wishes to take advantage of the discounts with their Amazon Prime account. Once the person registers, they just have to pass their hand over the reader to pay for their grocery purchases.

Reuse for advertising or tracking purposes?
Amazon’s expansion of biometric data collection through Amazon One raises serious questions about Amazon’s plans for this information and its respect for user privacy, including how Amazon uses this data for advertising and tracking purposes.‘, write the parliamentarians in their letter.

They also want to know how many people are enrolled in this program, the way Amazon secures the data collected in this way and whether the company intends to link these fingerprints to the facial recognition data available to it via its Rekognition program in particular.

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cloud storage
As the senators explained, “Unlike biometric systems like Apple’s Face ID, Touch ID, or Samsung Pass that store biometric information locally on a user’s device, Amazon One will upload that information to the cloud“.”Data security is especially important when it comes to immutable customer data, such as fingerprints‘, they add.

And Amazon’s business strategy is worrying senior officials. In early August, the company decided to offer a $10 coupon to people who agree to sign up for the Amazon One program. Privacy advocates see it as a method of forcing people to hand over sensitive personal data.