E-commerce giant Amazon has reportedly expanded its palm scanning payment tech to more of its physical stores in the Seattle area. A University of Oxford professor pointed out a major disadvantaged of the technology, saying: “You can never change your palm like you change your password or other identification tokens.”
The Verge reports that e-commerce and tech firm Amazon is expanding its Amazon One payment system that allows customers to pay by scanning their palms to more physical stores in the Seattle area.
The company says that starting this week the system will be available in its 4-star store in Lynnwood and in the coming weeks it will be available at its Amazon Books store in Bellevue and its 4-star and Pop Up stores in South Lake Union. In total, 12 of Amazon’s physical stores will soon feature the technology.
Amazon announced its palm recognition system last year; the tech works by scanning a user’s hand and identifying its unique characteristics such as surface area details and vein patterns. Palm scanning tech has existed for some time and is relatively secure as far as biometric security goes, but many have raised concerns about how Amazon might use the data gathered from customers.
Elizabeth Renieris, a law and policy researcher who focuses on data governance and human rights issues, told the Verge last year: “All the other biometrics that are becoming commonplace — face, fingerprints, iris — are all quite observable and visible from the outside. There’s definitely something to say for the advanced security [of palm scanning].”
Reuben Binns, an associate professor focusing on data protection at the University of Oxford, noted some of the issues with the tech stating: “The advantage is that it’s on you all the time, this isn’t something you can lose, but that’s also a disadvantage because you can never change it. You can never change your palm like you change your password or other identification tokens.”
Amazon has made Amazon One available as a payment option across a number of its own-branded physical stores in the Seattle area but in the long term, the firm hopes the convenience factor of the tech will convince third-party businesses to use the service too.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address email@example.com