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Security & privacy

Amazon will pay you $10 to scan your palm – Would you do it?

Contactless payment is more popular than ever, thanks in part to the pandemic. People are more hesitant to handle payment machines or hand over their own credit cards. Thankfully, you can pay just by waving your phone over the payment terminal. Tap or click here to set up mobile payments.

Last year, Amazon rolled out its own method of contactless payment. Amazon One works differently than most other forms of payment, however. Rather than using your smart device to pay, you use your palm. Though the device itself doesn’t store your palm image, it is sent to a secure area in the cloud run by Amazon.

Now that Amazon One is beginning to roll out nationwide, Amazon thinks it’s a good idea to incentivize the adoption of the tech. It’s willing to pay you $10 to sign up for the ability to pay with your palm print. Is this money worth the privacy implications?

Here’s the backstory

Apparently, Amazon is offering $10 to users to use contactless payment via Amazon One. TechCrunch spotted an ad touting a $10 promotional credit for those who sign up.

You have to sign up in-person at an Amazon One device using a credit card. Then you scan one or both of your palms and enter your mobile phone number.

Your data is stored in the cloud, and Amazon says it “is only used to generate and update your unique palm signature and confirm your identity.” Your palm data is stored separately from anyone else’s. Security measures include encryption, data isolation and dedicated secure zones with restricted access controls.

Even if it keeps your data to itself, Amazon can track your shopping activity through your palm and use this information to target you with ads.

Amazon has been scrutinized before for its innovations that put user privacy at risk. Tap or click here to read about how Sidewalk may compromise people’s home security.

Opting out

Amazon will store your palm data as long as you use the Amazon One service. If you cancel your Amazon One ID, Amazon will permanently delete your palm signature following the completion of any transactions you may have remaining.

If you don’t use an Amazon Device for two years, your palm data will be deleted.

You can cancel your Amazon One account online or at a payment device. To do it online, sign in with the Amazon account linked to your Amazon One ID and go to Your Amazon ONE ID page. Scroll down and click Unenroll. To cancel your account at an Amazon One Device, go to the Help menu, select Terms, Privacy and Help then Unenroll.

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