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Amazon One: Good or Bad?

Amazon and soon-to-be trillionaire Jeff Bezos released Amazon One earlier this week.




Amazon One is a hand recognition system that will allow a customer to check out of a store by simply scanning their palm.

The technology is in a trial run at two Amazon stores in Seattle. 

Initial reactions to Amazon One seem to convey a mixed bag of excitement and hesitancy. 

We will examine both here.

BUZZ

Amazon One is a very exciting prospect in the tech community. This excitement extends beyond just Amazon. 

It is commonly known around tech circles that Amazon’s goal is to sell this palm recognition technology to other companies, stores and even stadiums. 


This means that one day in the not too distant future we could be checking out at Whole Foods with the palm of our hand avoiding the dreaded checkout line all together. 

We could swipe in and out of our work this way.

Sporting events and concerts could end up going this route as well.

Back to Whole Foods: this may actually happen. 

Amazon purchased Whole Foods for the small sum of 13.4 Billion in 2017. It is clear that this technology was part of their plan in the acquisition all along.

Can you imagine not having to wait in lines at stores, or even scan a single item at self checkout? 

Also, palm scanning technology is not nearly as easily observable as, say, facial recognition technology. 

So what could possibly go wrong?

HESITANCY

“If your credit card number leaks, you can get a new credit card. If a biometric scan of your palm leaks, you can’t get a new hand,” said Evan Greer, deputy director of the privacy group Fight for the Future.

This quote taken from a Washington Post article (link below) published earlier this weeks encapsulates why many privacy experts are so hesitant about Amazon One

You can’t get a new hand. 


Amazon is going down an alley other companies like Apple have purposely avoided in the past: storing sensitive biometric information in the cloud. 

While the idea of all of this seems cool, it is undoubtedly risky. 

Privacy experts are worried storing sensitive information on a cloud could turn into a massive security risk. 

Hackers have shown the ability to even create fake hands and dupe sensors into thinking they are real people.

Amazon claims that their system is highly secure and that this will never be an issue. 

Time will tell…


https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2020/10/07/amazon-palm-privacy/

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