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Amazon’s palm-scanning payment technology will now be able to verify age, too

Amazon One, the retailer’s palm-scanning payment technology, is now getting new functionality with age verification services. The company announced today that customers using an Amazon One device will be able to purchase adult beverages – like beer at a sporting event – ​​by simply hovering their palm over the Amazon One device. The first venue to support the facility will be Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies MLB team. Amazon says the technology will roll out to additional locations in the coming months.

First introduced in 2020, Amazon’s biometric payment technology works by creating a unique palm print for each customer, which Amazon associates with a credit card that the customer inserts at a sign-up kiosk upon initial setup, or With a card that the customer has configured online. advance. If Customer has an Amazon account, that is also associated with their Amazon One profile information. These palm print images are encrypted and stored in a secure area in the AWS cloud, built for Amazon One with restricted employee access.

To use the system, customers place their hand over a reader on the device which identifies several aspects of their palm, such as lines, ridges and vein patterns, to identify.

By combining customer biometrics with payment card information and Amazon accounts, Amazon has created a tool that can be used to serve highly personalized ads, offers and recommendations over time if the company chooses.

However, in its FAQ, Amazon claims it “does not sell or use customer information for advertising, marketing or any other reason.”

Amazon has argued that palm reading is a more private form of biometrics because you can’t determine someone’s identity just by looking at images of their palm. However, the company isn’t just storing palm images—it’s building a customer database that matches palm images with other information.

Initially available at Amazon’s own retail locations such as Amazon Go stores and Whole Foods, the Amazon One system has expanded to various sports stadiums, entertainment venues, convenience stores and travel retailers such as HUDSON and CREWS in several US airports . to Panera Bread through a partnership announced in March.

Now, to enable the system to identify one’s age, customers can choose to update their ID on the Amazon One website. To do so, customers will go to, upload photos of both the front and back of their government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license, then take a selfie to verify it’s the same one. Amazon says it does not store these IDs after verification, which is performed by an undisclosed ISO 27001-certified identity verification provider — a certification that references an international security standard.

After their age is verified, Amazon One customers will be able to purchase their adult drinks without taking their ID out of their pocket – they can be ID’d and pay for the drink with a scan of their palm. When verified, the bartender will see the message “21+” on the screen along with the customer’s selfie, which they can use to match the customer who placed the order. The customer can again scan his palm to pay for the purchase.

Retailers can appreciate this technology because it can move lines faster, increasing their potential sales and revenue. But it’s worth remembering that Amazon didn’t enter this market with secondary goals in mind, beyond just speeding up checkout.

The technology has been the subject of privacy concerns since its introduction, which led early adopters to abandon their plans to use readers after receiving pressure from consumer privacy and advocacy groups. Denver Arts & Venues was planning to take advantage of Amazon One for ticketless admission to Red Rocks Amphitheater — a huge win for Amazon — but it cut ties with the retailer after publishing an open letter that suggested Given that Amazon can share palmprint data with government agencies and that it can be stolen from the cloud by hackers.

A group of US senators also pressed Amazon for more details about its plans with customer biometrics shortly after the technology’s launch. In addition, Amazon is facing a class action lawsuit over its failure to provide proper notice under the NYC biometric surveillance law related to the use of its Amazon One readers at Amazon Go stores.

Despite these concerns, Amazon is moving forward with its Amazon One expansion efforts, with the recent Panera deal for example.

“We are excited to launch Amazon One’s age verification feature at Coors Field,” said Alison Birdwell, President and CEO of Aramark Sports + Entertainment. Including Coors Field. “Consumer preferences are constantly evolving and the demand for faster service models continues to grow. Amazon One’s latest capability directly responds to those demands by providing a new level of convenience for the age verification process, reducing the time it takes to shop for alcohol, and improving the overall guest experience at Coors Field, she said in a statement.

Amazon One with Edge Verification now available at Coors Field, Amazon says.

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