Amazon Will Give You Store Credit For Your Biometric Palm Print In Slightly Creepy Promo
What is the lowest amount you would sell your personal palm print for to a third-party? Amazon is offering $10 in promotional credit to anyone who scans their palm at a checkout-free store and links it to their Amazon account.
In late 2020, the company introduced “Amazon One” as a “free, contactless service that lets you use your palm to pay, enter, or identify yourself.” This works because palm prints are like fingerprints in that everyone’s print is unique. As such, the palm prints can be scanned using Amazon’s “proprietary imaging and computer vision algorithms” to capture an image that is then tied to a user’s Amazon account.
While this could save time in stores or at events while also being contactless and COVID-safe, allowing Amazon to collect your palm print is cause for at least some concern, whether it be over privacy issues or security, or both. First and foremost, the company has been oddly pushy about biometrics in the past, like when Amazon wanted delivery drivers to agree to biometric surveillance. Beyond this, the company has a not-so-great track record of keeping data secure, provided it is not being sold outright.
The idea of biometrics is not a new one, and it is used heavily by consumer electronics companies like Microsoft, Google and Apple. Apple, however, stores a customer's biometric data (Touch ID, Face ID) in a secure enclave on-device and doesn't upload it to the cloud. Similarly, Windows laptops with Windows Hello support typically employ encrypted on-device storage of biometric data. As a result, this personal data is not directly accessible to Apple, Google or Microsoft. That is not the case with the palm print data model that Amazon gathers, as it is apparently stored in the cloud. This difference in how customer data is handled is why people may be perhaps more leery of Amazon's motives here. Tell us what you think in the comments below. Is your palm print only worth $10 of in-store credit on Amazon?
(Palm Scanner Image, Credit: TechCrunch)