Want a $10 credit from Amazon? Just let it scan your palm

Amazon is offering store credit in exchange for customers submitting a digital scan of their palm, according to a report. The ecommerce company in 2020 introduced biometric palm print scanners in some of its brick-and-mortar stores, allowing registered shoppers to pay for goods by waving their hand over the devices. 

To promote the payment technology and encourage more people to start using it, dubbed Amazon One, Amazon is offering $10 in promotional credit to anyone who registers a biometric print of their palm at a store, according to a promotional flyer first spotted by Tech Crunch. After registering for the system, users receive Amazon One IDs that include their palm signature, a credit card or other payment data, and other contact information, the tech industry news site reported.

An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment on the promotional campaign.

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Amazon touts the biometric payment system, currently available at 53 Amazon-owned stores, including some Whole Foods Markets, as a “new, contactless identity service that makes it easier for you to move through the world with just a simple palm scan.” The program is designed to “unlock your world by giving you the freedom to pay, enter, and identify with nothing but your palm,” Amazon says on its website

But one privacy watchdog expressed concern about Amazon One and how the data the system collects could be used.

“It’s horrifying that people are being asked to sell their bodies in this way, but it’s even worse that people are doing it for such a cheap price,” Albert Fox Cahn, executive director of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project, told CBS MoneyWatch.

Cahn also noted that Amazon has previously sold facial recognition software to police departments. “I’m terrified that the biometric data used to check out of stores today will be used by ICE to deport undocumented people in the future,” he said.

Amazon also recently raised the hackles of some privacy advocates by launching a service, called Sidewalk, that links Amazon-enabled smart devices. The low-bandwidth network taps into a customer’s home WiFi to connect Alexa smart speakers, Ring security cameras, Tile location trackers and other outdoor sensors. 



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