(FiveNation.com)- Amazon is collecting biometric data at its retail stores that enables customers to pay without having to use a credit card or cash. Instead, they can simply enroll in the company’s palm print scanners program, Amazon One and pay for their items by placing their palms on the scanner.
The use of such biometric data collection by a retailer that also controls a vast expanse of the world’s Big Tech is extremely alarming – something that those charged with preserving the Liberty and privacy of American citizens should no doubt act immediately to address.
But rather than drag Amazon before a Senate committee to answer questions about this threat to privacy, three US Senators, Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Jon Ossoff (D-GA) have sent a strongly-worded letter to Amazon’s new CEO Andy Jassy to express their concern over Amazon’s collection of biometric data.
In their letter, the three Senators expressed their concern over reports that Amazon is “incentivizing customers” to relinquish their biometric information by offering a $10 promotional coupon for their next Amazon purchase in exchange for enrolling.
Amazon’s creepy collection of biometric data “raises serious questions” for these Senators. Well, that’ll telling them!
They provided Jassy with a list of questions they are requesting he answer – specifically about what Amazon plans to do with this biometric data, whether it will use it for targeted advertising or tracking purposes, and whether Amazon will show “respect for user privacy.”
As with most strongly-worded letters demanding answers, the Senators have given Amazon until the end of August to answer their questions on how the data collected will be used and protected.
Why on earth do these Senators waste time writing letters that can be easily ignored?
The FAQ information on the Amazon One scanners claims that palm prints are highly encrypted and sent to a secure storage area. Any customers who have already enrolled can, if they choose, have their biometric data deleted. Yeah. Right.
This isn’t Amazon’s first foray into creepy dystopian data collection. It previously sold facial recognition technology to police departments. However, when researchers discovered that facial recognition technology is generally less accurate with women and people of color, Amazon stopped selling it.