Amazon’s Palm Print Recognition System Raises Concern Among US Senators
Three US senators, including Democrat Amy Klobuchar who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel, wrote a letter to Amazon.com. They expressed concern about the Amazon’s palm print recognition system.
In April, Amazon introduced biometric properties at its Whole Foods stores around Seattle. It will let the shoppers pay for items with a scan of their palm. This system has its name as Amazon One. It lets customers link their credit card to their palm print.
Klobuchar, who joined by Senators Bill Cassidy, a Republican, and Jon Ossoff, a Democrat, expressed concern in the letter dated Thursday about both privacy and competition related to Amazon One.
Letter in concerns about Amazon’s Palm Print
Firstly, “Our concerns about user privacy are heightened by evidence that Amazon shared voice data with third-party contractors and allegations that Amazon has violated biometric privacy laws,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter.
Secondly, “We are also concerned that Amazon may use data from Amazon One, including data from third-party customers that may purchase and use Amazon One devices, to further cement its competitive power and suppress competition across various markets,” the letter reads.
In the meantime, the lawmakers asked Amazon about plans to expand Amazon One. They also asked to whom they had sold or licensed the technology. How many people had signed up for it. How the data will be in use? Can this feature have connections with facial recognition systems?
Amazon did not comment anything regarding this. But they pointed to a blog post that they shared on April 21. It says that it was in “active discussions with several potential customers.” It also mentions that Amazon One has its design to be “highly secure.”
However, the blog post reads, “The Amazon One device is protected by multiple security controls, and palm images are never stored on the Amazon One device. Rather, the images are encrypted and sent to a highly secure area we custom-built for Amazon One in the cloud.”