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Amazon has announced that it will be using its proprietary “Amazon One” identification system at 65 California locations of the Whole Foods supermarket chain. The use of biometrics has been criticized by privacy advocates. […]

Photo: Amazon

A supermarket without a cash register, Amazon has been pursuing this development goal for a long time. However, until now it is still necessary to use an app to go shopping in such a market. The self-developed palm scanner Amazon One could extend this step considerably.

After testing in some locations in the north of the US, Amazon Go now seems to be introduced on a broad front. Amazon has announced that it will equip 65 stores of its own supermarket chain Whole Foods in California with Amazon Go, according to a report by the US specialist information service “Supermarket News”.

Buy with the palm of your hand

Customers should soon be able to identify themselves there by holding their palm over a reader. You can also complete the purchase with this identification, so you no longer need a smartphone. A credit card or even a wallet is not necessary anyway. However, Amaton One is not intended to replace previous payment systems, but only to complement them.

When Amazon opened its first cashless Amazon Go branch two years ago, the group was still reluctant to use biometric user identification systems, even though Amazon One was already developed by then.

Experts see the simultaneous use in so many industries as a breakthrough for these types of systems.

“Privacy Nightmare”

Data protection activists view systems like Amazon One with concern, as Amazon requires a full scan of a customer’s individual handprint, ready for retrieval in the cloud, for the system to function.

So, as the US tech blog “Mashable” writes, any data theft becomes a “privacy nightmare”. On the other hand, biometric recognition systems are now making their way into more and more areas of life, such as Apple’s Face ID, which works with facial recognition.

“Mashable” also reports on concerns of a very different kind. Employees of the affected Whole Foods stores fear that Amazon One is just a first step towards unmanned supermarkets. The group tries to refute these fears.

Employees will continue to be “an important part of the Amazon Style Shopping Experience” in the future.

*Frank Kemper joined the INTERNETWORLD team in 2001 and ran the print edition of INTERNET WORLD BUSINESS from 2013 to 2020. The graduate of the German School of Journalism in Munich can look back on more than 30 years of editorial experience and has been online for almost as long.

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