65 Whole Food Stores in California will soon have Amazon One, the tech giant's palm print payment technology. The expansion was announced despite the privacy concerns the technology raises.
Amazon One allows customers to pay for groceries using their palms, instead of their phone or card. The technology was first announced in 2020 and was trialed at Whole Food stores in New York, Los Angeles, Austin, and Seattle. According to the company, customers have said that the payment system is more convenient.
As reported by The Verge: “Customers can set up Amazon One by registering their palm print using a kiosk or at a point-of-sale station at participating stores. To register, you need to provide a payment card and phone number, agree to Amazon's terms of service, and share an image of your palms. Once completed, you can take items to checkout and not have to take out your wallet — or even your phone. A hover of your hand over the device is all that's needed to pay and leave.”
However, the technology raises privacy concerns. Last year, in a letter to Amazon CEO Andy Jassy, Sens. Jon Ossoff (D-GA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Bill Cassidy (R-LA), asked for more details about what Amazon would do with the biometric data collected, specifically if it would be used for targeted advertising.
“Amazon's expansion of biometric data collection through Amazon One raises serious questions about Amazon's plans for this data and its respect for user privacy, including about how Amazon may use the data for advertising and tracking purposes,” the senators wrote in the letter.