Texas Whole Foods launches palm-swiping payment method for shoppers

Whole Foods customers in Austin, Texas, can now use their palms to pay for their groceries.

The system uses Amazon One, a technology the company introduced in 2020 that connects a customer’s credit card to their palmprint. Amazon began using the tech in nine different Whole Foods locations in Seattle last year, according to Fox Business.

The convenience comes with a catch, as linking the technology to your Amazon account allows the company to collect data — including your shopping history — and use it to target ads and promotions, according to Tech Crunch.

Amazon offered a $10 credit to customers who signed up for Amazon One and connected it to their Amazon account, Tech Crunch reported. 

The palm-reading technology comes with privacy concerns. 

Sen. Bill Cassidy, Louisiana Republican, joined fellow senators Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Jon Ossoff of Georgia, both Democrats, in a letter asking Amazon last year about their plans for the use of the data.

“Amazon One users may experience harm if their data is not kept secure. In contrast with biometric systems like Apple’s Face ID and Touch ID or Samsung Pass, which store biometric information on a user’s device, Amazon One reportedly uploads biometric information to the cloud, raising unique security risks. Data security is particularly important when it comes to immutable customer data, like palm prints,” the senators wrote.

“The service is designed to be highly secure and uses custom-built algorithms and hardware to create a person’s unique palm signature,” the company said in a 2020 release.

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