Senators Question Amazon One Collection of Biometric Data
On Friday, a trio of U.S. senators wrote to Amazon President and CEO Andy Jassy inquiring about his company’s policy regarding the collection of biometric data from users as part of its new palm print payment system, Amazon One.
Convenience or Nuisance?
Biometric data is acquired through tracking an individual’s physical motions and distinctive characteristics. Governments and private companies utilize the science to monitor people or groups under surveillance and identify individuals.
Senators Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, and Jon Ossoff of Georgia are concerned that the data acquired by Amazon’s recently introduced palm-print recognition payment system, Amazon One, may cause antitrust and privacy issues.
Amazon One devices are now featured in over 50 retail locations throughout the United States, including certain Whole Foods Market and Amazon Go locations. Consumers can use Amazon One to make payments by scanning their palm print into the system, along with their phone as well as credit card information.
In addition, Amazon has revealed intentions to extend its Amazon One program, which may include selling customer data to third-party businesses. Senators are concerned about the company’s efforts to preserve consumer privacy and are concerned that it will be used to monitor people and develop advertising strategies.
The senators assert that there is proof that Amazon has previously shared voice data with third-party contractors and are concerned about reports that the company broke biometric privacy laws.
Lawsuits and Factors Concerning Amazon’s Data Collection
Amazon faced a class action lawsuit in Illinois last year after two plaintiffs claimed Amazon illegally obtained their facial scans, alongside thousands of others, to improve recognition software. This, the plaintiffs claimed, was a violation of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), which has been enacted in 2018 to safeguard against the unauthorized acquisition and storage of biometric information.
The senators also highlighted their concern with how Amazon One maintains its data. The data acquired by Amazon is uploaded to the cloud, making it more vulnerable to hacking than similar biometric systems such as Apple Face ID or Samsung Pass, which store collected data on a user’s own device.
For Confirmation Purposes
The senators closed their letter by requesting answers to several issues, including if Jassy intends to expand Amazon One and, if so, on what schedule. They also inquired about the company’s history of selling information to third parties, the privacy protections in place, and the number of users who have signed up for the service.
Editor’s Note on Amazon One Payment System Questioned By Senators Over Privacy Safety Of Users:
This article is written to inform you of a letter by the three senators inquiring to Andy Jassy, Amazon CEO and President, concerning Amazon One users’ private data. A class action lawsuit was also filed against Amazon concerning Alexa snooping on its users.
Do you think your data is secured if you ever use Amazon One? Click the “Contact Us” button below and share with us your thoughts!