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Amazon’s Palm-Scanning Tech Sparks Criticism From Hundreds Of Artists, Activists
By Alexa Heah, 18 Nov 2021
Image ID 72679549 © via Jonathan Weiss | Dreamstime.com
Back in September, Amazon announced a partnership with ticketing company AXS to bring its futuristic palm-scanning technology to guests at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Denver, Colorado.
While concert organizers may have been thrilled at an easier, more convenient way to admit guests into a venue, some artists and activists are striking back.
Recently, a group of 200 performers and 30 rights groups jointly penned an open letter urging Red Rocks Amphitheatre, AXS, and its parent company AEG to “immediately cancel” contracts using Amazon One’s scanning technology.
Among the protestors were big name artists, such as Tom Morello from Rage Against The Machine and Kathleen Hanna from Bikini Kill. The letter, in addition to appealing for the palm-scanning technology to be removed, detailed the involved parties’ wish for companies to ban all forms of biometric surveillance at concerts and events.
According to Engadget, the protestors expressed worry that Amazon could send users’ biometric data to government agencies, which could then be used to track marginalized persons. Safety-wise, it also posed a potential cybersecurity risk as hackers could gain access to the cloud and walk away with sensitive information.
In a statement issued by Amazon One, a spokesperson told DesignTAXI that “the claims made by this organization are inaccurate.”
The spokesperson explained that Amazon One was not a facial recognition technology, but rather, “an optional technology designed to make daily activities faster and easier for customers, and users who choose to participate must make an intentional gesture with their palm to use the service.”
“Amazon One devices are protected by multiple security controls, and palm images are never stored on the Amazon One device. Rather, the images are encrypted and sent to a highly secure area we custom-built for Amazon One in the cloud where we create your palm signature,” they said.
[via Engadget, cover image via Jonathan Weiss | Dreamstime.com]
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