Back in 2021, a law has gone into effect in New York City Business requires To post clear signs if they are collecting customers’ biometric information, such as facial scans and fingerprints. Now, Amazon Facing a proposed class action lawsuit The company is accused of failing to inform customers at its Go cashierless stores that it was collecting their biometrics.
In the lawsuit (PDF), submitted by Alfredo Alberto Rodriguez Pérez, Plaintiff argues that Go Stores consistently use biometrics of customers "by scanning [their palms] To identify them and by applying computer vision and deep learning algorithms and integrating sensors that measure the shape and size of each customer’s body to identify customers, track where they go in stores and what they have purchased." She said the company only made flags about its biometric tracking activities more than a year after the law went into effect.
Amazon’s Go stores give shoppers the option to take any product they have off the shelves and checkout without having to check out. To be able to enter these stores, customers will need to scan a code from the Amazon app with a connected credit card. However, some sites offer Amazon One, the e-commerce giant’s Palm-based identity and payment service, as an entry-level option. The plaintiff’s complaint said the label tells customers that Amazon will not collect their biometrics unless they choose to sign up for Amazon One. but, "Amazon Go Stores Do Collect biometric identifier information on each client, including information on each client’s body size and shape," argue complaint.
In a statement sent to NBC NewsAn Amazon spokesperson defended the company’s practices and technology. They clarified that Amazon does not use facial recognition, and any system it uses to identify shoppers inside Go stores does not constitute biometric technology. "Only shoppers who choose to register with Amazon One and choose to be identified by hovering their palm over an Amazon One device get access to their biometric data securely," they insisted, "These individuals are provided with appropriate privacy disclosures during the registration process."
The outcome of the lawsuit can then depend on whether the court views the person’s body shape and size as biometric information. In the complaint, the plaintiff quotes New York City code 1201-22 Defining a biometric identifier in the context of law "A physiological or biological characteristic that is used by or on behalf of a commercial enterprise, singly or collectively, to identify or assist in the identification of an individual, including, but not limited to: (i) examination of the retina or iris of the eye, (ii) a fingerprint the finger or voiceprint, (3) a scan of the geometry of a hand or face, or any other identifying characteristic."
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