Amazon has a new, somewhat surprising application for the palm-scanning technology used for payments: age verification. In a post on Monday, the company announced that its Amazon One scanner can now verify your age when used in places like bars, making it much more than an alternative way to pay.
Amazon currently uses palm scanners at its Go stores and some Whole Foods locations, allowing customers to pay for their groceries by hovering their palms over the scanner in lieu of taking out a credit card or cash.
Amazon One with age verification is debuting at the Coors Field baseball stadium in Colorado before expanding to “additional establishments in the coming months.” It’s no surprise to see Amazon expanding its palm-scanning technology. My colleague James Vincent pointed to this possibility in 2020, saying at the time that Amazon One is not just a payments technology; it’s also “a” Identification technology, and one that could give Amazon more access to your life than ever before.
Now, Amazon is calling its One technology a “palm-based identification service,” which can verify that you’re over 21 to buy alcoholic beverages and other age-restricted goods that would have required your ID. Is.
Once you sign up for age verification through Amazon One — which requires personal information including your palm images, your government-issued ID, payment information, and a selfie — you’ll be eligible to use the service. Can scan your hand at places. The bartender or cashier will see the message “21+” and your selfie to verify your age and identity. You can then wave your hand over the device again to submit your payment.
Amazon says its palm-scanning technology uses cameras to match “many aspects of your palm,” including lines, ridges, and veins, to the pictures it serves up to you, which it stores in its cloud. stores in This in itself could pose privacy and security risks, but Amazon says users’ palm recognition data is safe.
The company says it uses “multi-layered security controls built into hardware, software, and cloud infrastructure to ensure customer data remains encrypted and secure.” While Amazon also notes that it doesn’t store government-issued IDs, it says that this information is still transmitted through “certified identity verification providers” that verify your ID, including your selfie. Cross-references and verifies your age with Amazon.
I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer to do things the old-fashioned way: reaching for my wallet, pulling out my ID, and showing it to the bartender — a process that takes no more than a few seconds and leaves much of my personal information exposed. In the hands of giant technology does not give.