Borne de reconnaissance biométrique de la main dans un magazin Amazon (Amazon)
The American firm Amazon is currently testing in two of its physical stores, in Seattle, in the United States, a biometric payment system called Amazon One, based on the recognition of the palm.
You do your shopping, and instead of pulling out your bank card or smartphone, raise your hand above a terminal to be immediately authenticated and charged to your bank card. Amazon explains that the palm has characteristics unique to each individual that are invisible to the naked eye. Still, with a machine vision system, it becomes biometric, like a fingerprint.
You must have previously registered your “manual fingerprint” and associated it with your bank card. The firm explains that one can associate one credit card per hand, possibly two cards (what if we have more?).
This is a new form of contactless payment that is particularly popular with consumers during the Covid-19 epidemic. Amazon plans to bring the technology to other store brands around the world. This system could also serve as authentication to access buildings, instead of a traditional badge.
Data security and privacy
However, such a system raises questions about respect for private life, since an image of the hand thus formed constitutes biometric data, a matter of private life. “We take data security and privacy seriously,” says Amazon. The group explains that the data is not stored in the terminal but on servers in the cloud. But is it really more reassuring? At Apple, on the contrary, biometric data does not go to the cloud but remains, in encrypted form, in a secure enclave in the smartphone, so that no one can access it. That said, Amazon assures that users can request that the data be erased.