In a suspicious and even creepy way to further appropriate the biometric data of its buyers, the giant company Amazon offers its customers to scan the veins in their hands to deduct the value of purchases from their bank accounts.
The system is based on the fact that the “palm is made up of tiny, distinct features on and below the surface, many that are indiscernible to the human eye or a standard camera,” explains the Amazon page cited by The Western Journal on May 1.
It goes on to describe, “In seconds a process of proprietary imaging and computer vision algorithms capture and encrypt [a] palm image.”
Then, “Amazon One uses the information embedded in your palm to create a unique palm signature that it can read each and every time you use it.” The system would be applicable in some U.S. stores.
The controversial system is already encountering resistance among citizens who have heard of the many unfulfilled promises about protecting their data; on the other hand, large technology companies have accumulated so much power that there is hardly anyone to control them. And Amazon is one of them.
“Yeah, that’s going to be a no from me. Digital privacy is one conversation, but there’s something deeply uncomfortable about the idea of Amazon keeping my palm scan in storage,” argued Texas Federation of College Republicans senior policy adviser Garion Frankel.
He added, “It’s more than unlocking a device once my own genetic information leaves my immediate control.” For others, this form of identification is likened to the “mark of the beast” in the Bible.
For her part, independent researcher Stephanie Hare noted that countries such as China [controlled by the Communist Party of China, CCP] already use biometric checkouts in some stores, noting that Amazon will not use facial recognition.
“I think they probably made a judgment call that Americans are probably not going to want to pay with their face, but they’ll be fine to pay with their fingerprint or their hand. That feels less like a mug shot,” Hare estimated.
In any case, Amazon would have to respond to card issuers’ and customers’ concerns about identity fraud. Yet, there are frequent reports of millions and millions of people’s data being hacked worldwide.
In this regard, Consumer Reports’ director of consumer privacy and technology, Justin Brookman, warns consumers to think twice before sharing personal identifiers.
“Once your biometric data gets leaked or compromised, you can’t really do anything about it,” he said. “The more people who potentially have it, the more potential for things to go bad.”
Amazon has been involved in surveillance and facial recognition systems, which it has ceded to police and is reminiscent of the invasive surveillance systems used by the CCP to monitor its citizens.
“Amazon’s approach thus far has been one of denial, deflection, and delay. We cannot rely on Amazon to police itself or provide unregulated and unproven technology to police or government agencies,” stated MIT Media Lab researcher, and Timnit Gebru, Microsoft Research Fellow, Joy Buolamwini.
Buolamwini found flaws in the facial recognition systems created by Amazon concerning the racial bias they used to show when identifying people.