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Amazon’s pay-by-palm app turbo charges collection of personal biometric data



Amazon recently launched an app that allows users to sign up for their biometric payment service from their homes.  This is despite Amazon’s pay-by-palm technology, introduced in 2020, raising concerns among privacy experts due to the lack of accountability for big tech companies in protecting personal information.


When Amazon first announced in 2020 that it was rolling out its pay-by-palm technology, several privacy experts sounded the alarm, with some calling it a “terrible idea” because there are few laws to hold big tech accountable for keeping Americans’ sensitive personal information safe, or from preventing them from selling it to others or abusing it in other ways.


But that hasn’t stopped people from using it. Amazon palm scanners are found in numerous retail locations across America and have been used over 8 million times.  The benefit for users, according to Amazon, is convenience.


In reality, those who signed up to use the biometric payment service most likely helped to train Amazon’s palm-based identification, which is another pebble in the growing rock pile of big tech-enabled, Orwell-style digital enslavement.


In the video below, after describing how generative artificial intelligence was used to train its program, Amazon’s Just Walk Out vice president Gerard Medioni said that palm-scanning has “an accuracy, which is 1,000 times higher than face recognition and 100 times more accurate than two irises.”



Amazon News: How generative AI helped train Amazon One to recognise your palm, 1 September 2023 (1 min)

As can be expected, once people have been conditioned to accept the idea of paying using a palm scan, Amazon has moved the agenda onto the next stage.  On 28 March 2024, Amazon announced it had just launched a new app that lets first-time users of its Amazon One biometric payment service sign up for it from the comfort of their homes.

 

“Signing up for Amazon One – our palm recognition service for entry, identification, and payment – just got easier.  Until today, customers had to visit a physical location to hover their palm over an Amazon One device to sign up for the service,” the company said in a press release. “Now, they can sign up for Amazon One from home, work, or on-the-go.”


Amazon already has a history of data leaks and breaches.  So why would anyone hand over their biometric data to them?


Amazon’s announcement at the end of March has drawn fresh criticism mainly centred around the idea that Amazon is making it easier to harvest more personal data that could, potentially, be exploited as part of a tech-enabled system of social surveillance and control.


James Lindsay, founder of New Discourses and author of several books, including ‘“Race Marxism” and “Social (In)justice”’, told The Epoch Times that he sees the development as fresh evidence of a broader push towards tech-enabled “digital enslavement” by way of a series of nodes that includes central bank digital currencies (“CBDC”), universal basic income (“UBI”), and a China-style social credit system.


“It is real,” he said when asked about the risk of “digital enslavement” at the hands of a tech-driven constellation of mechanisms that includes China’s social credit system, which lets the communist-controlled surveillance state punish and reward people for certain behaviours, and which is being copied in several countries.


Lindsay offered commentary on the Amazon One app rollout in a post on Twitter, writing that they “are pushing the Digital Slave ID really hard” and “I will not be digital cattle.”


He expanded on this idea in a subsequent thread, in which he laid out a case for how “evil technocrats” overlook people’s humanity and see consumers as little more than domesticated animals to be milked for profit or tapped for other uses.


“I am therefore saying that the technocrats will establish a system where we are as cattle to them, centres of data to be harvested,” he wrote in one of the posts.


Lindsey, who’s been a vocal critic of wokeism in education, added that the key to making the system of digital enslavement work is data.


Some critics have argued that fears of an Orwellian system of “digital enslavement” are overblown because there’s a slim chance of its adoption given the public pushback to left-wing phenomena like pushing critical race theory in schools or the foisting of diversity, equity, and inclusion (“DEI”) policies on corporate workers.


“That’s the hope,” Lindsay said when asked for comment on the view that the bubble of wokeism is already popping. But “it’s only a hope,” he cautioned.


Michael Rectenwald, a former professor and author of twelve books including ‘The Great Reset and the Struggle for Liberty: Unravelling the Global Agenda’, told The Epoch Times that the promise of convenience is a lure that draws people into arrangements that may not serve their more fundamental interests.


“The threat of complete digital enslavement will come via offers of ‘convenience’ and ‘inclusion’ from the corporate appendages of the state – or what I have called ‘governmentalities’ – like Amazon and Google,” Rectenwald said.


“Amazon’s palm scanning app is a step in the direction of digital identity,” he continued, adding that the Bank of International Settlements (“BIS”), the Swiss-based financial institution colloquially referred to as the “bank for central banks,” has stated that a “digital identity scheme” is a prerequisite for effective CBDCs.


“The BIS has also admitted that CBDCs allow complete transaction transparency,” he said. “Hinging access to money on a digital identity inclusive of a complete (political) profile – one can easily imagine the Orwellian possibilities that this would entail.”


“It represents the closing of the totalitarian circle.”


Sources for this article include: Experts Warn Of ‘Digital Enslavement’ As Amazon Pushes Palm-Scan Payment Service, Zero Hedge, 1 April 2024

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