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Experts Warn Of 'Digital Enslavement' As Amazon Pushes Palm-Scan Payment Service

•, by Tyler Durden

Amazon announced on March 28 that it had just launched a new app that lets first-time users of its Amazon One biometric payment service sign up for it from the comfort of their home (instead of having to do it at a physical store) by taking a photo of a hand and uploading it to Amazon's servers.

"Until today, customers had to visit a physical location to hover their palm over an Amazon One device to sign up for the service," the company said in a press release. "Now, they can sign up for Amazon One from home, work, or on-the-go."

The benefit for users, according to Amazon, is convenience. Retailers are promised benefits from faster lines and "more frictionless in-store experience," says Amazon, whose palm scanners are found in numerous retail locations across the country and have been used over 8 million times.

When Amazon first announced in 2020 that it was rolling out its biometric payment service, a number of privacy experts sounded the alarm, with some calling it a "terrible idea" because there are few laws to hold big tech accountable for keeping Americans' sensitive personal information safe, or from preventing them from selling it to others or abusing it in other ways.

Now, the launch of Amazon's new app that could turbo-charge the handing over of biometric data to a company with a history of data leaks and breaches, has drawn fresh criticism.

Much of the renewed criticism centers on the idea that Amazon is making it easier to harvest more personal data that could, potentially, be exploited as part of a tech-enabled system of social surveillance and control.

Amazon did not respond to a request for comment for this story.