Amazon required to clarify plans for biometric data
Amazon required to clarify plans for biometric data

A group of senators has written to new Amazon CEO Andy Gacy (Andy Gacy) asking the company to provide more information about customer fingerprint scanning and storage for use in some of its retail stores.

The company introduced a fingerprint scanner through a program called Amazon One to encourage people to make contactless payments at its traditional stores without using a card.

The company launched the Amazon One scanner late last year. It is now available at Amazon Go stores, grocery stores, Amazon Books, and its four-star stores in the United States. Scanners will also be installed at eight Whole Foods stores in Washington state.

In this new letter, the senator asked Gacy to detail how the company intends to expand the biometric payment system. Does the collected data help the company to address users through advertising?

The senators wrote in the letter: “Amazon’s expansion of biometric data collection through Amazon Wan raises serious questions about the company’s plans for this data and its respect for user privacy.” Including using the data for advertising and tracking purposes.

Afraid of Amazon's biometric plan

Lawmakers also requested information about how many people have signed up for Amazon One so far. How does the company protect sensitive data? What if the company linked palm prints to facial recognition data collected elsewhere?

The senators added: It differs from other biometric systems that store information on a user's device. Amazon One is supposed to upload important information to the cloud, which increases security risks. In the case of immutable customer data (such as fingerprints), data security is especially important.

The company has controversially offered a $10 line of credit to new users who have signed up for fingerprints in the program. This sparked outrage among data protection officials, who see it as a blatant tactic to force people to pass on sensitive personal data.

There are several reasons to be careful. The company has come under fire for another major bio-data project. This is an AI facial recognition software called Rekognition. The company made this information available to US law enforcement agencies before it backtracked and stopped using it last year.

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