Amazon Introduces Palm Scanners for Offices, Prompting Data Privacy Concerns

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Amazon Introduces Palm Scanners for Offices, Prompting Data Privacy Concerns

Amazon is gearing up to introduce its own palm scanners as a business solution. These scanners are meant to be set up in offices, allowing folks to check in and out at entrances with a simple swipe of their hand. You might have seen similar tech at places like Whole Foods or Starbucks, where Amazon’s hand scanners are used for making purchases. Even Amazon’s own Amazon Go stores are all about this technology.

According to Dilip Kumar, the VP for Amazon Web Services Applications, businesses love how this makes things easy and private for their customers. They can access places or software just by waving their hand. CNBC reported that a few companies, like IGH Hotels and Resorts and Kone, are already eyeing this service.

These hand scanners aren’t entirely new. Amazon says this biometric method is safer and cheaper than using things like passwords or access cards. Plus, it’s hygienic since there’s no physical contact involved. Fujitsu, a Japanese company, has its own version using vein structures for identification in notebooks instead of fingerprint sensors.

But here’s the catch: this technology has faced flak in the past, not because it’s unsafe but because it’s a bit tricky when it comes to privacy. An organization called Fight for the Future claims Amazon’s system collects even more data about people, essentially allowing them to track your every move, as per a letter from spring 2023.

In response, Amazon says they don’t gather purchase data from customers who use these scanners outside Amazon stores. They also argue that a palm image can’t be directly linked to a specific person. However, when it comes to payments, it’s definitely connected to account data and other info. That said, without that link, palm images can’t really be used for identification.

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Carl Woodrow
A seasoned tech enthusiast and writer, Carl delves deep into emerging technologies, offering insightful analysis and reviews on the latest gadgets and trends.