According to Tech Crunch Amazon are giving customers $10 credit to set up and link their palm biometrics in their checkout-free stores and Amazon accounts.
Is paying with your limb the way forward or have Amazon created a solution to a non-existent problem? And why are Amazon so eager to get people registering their biometrics with them?
There isn’t much really that any company can do with your palm print alone however, once you link your palm as a payment method in-store, amazon can collect data on your shopping history and target marketing accordingly. Retailers targeting their marketing based on customer’s shopping habits are nothing new, you can see this happening with things like retailer memberships cards, Tesco Clubcard & Pets at Home VIP cards are a couple of examples. But depending on where Amazon sees their palm payment technology heading in the future this could open doors for something much bigger and more complex.
I wrote about the Amazon One palm payment option earlier this year after Amazon announced the rollout of what they described as a way to make shopping more convenient and effortless for consumers. At face value another more convenient way to pay sounds great and the eventual introduction of a payment system like this on the high street could help with its revival but with domineering Amazon being clear competitor to the retail industry would retailers actually want to implement the hand-scanning payment system of such a prominent competitor knowing that they are ‘handing’ their business intelligence over to them? It’s clear that the device could track the purchase patterns of a customer letting Amazon advertise their own products & services accordingly.
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“The dystopian future of science fiction is now. It’s horrifying that Amazon is asking people to sell their bodies, but it’s even worse that people are doing it for such a low price.”
– Albert Fox Cahn, the executive director, New York-based Surveillance Technology Oversight Project