Texas Whole Foods launches palm-swipe payment method for shoppers

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

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

Convenience comes with a catch, because linking the technology to your Amazon account allows the company to collect data — including your purchase 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.

Palm-reading technology comes with privacy concerns.

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

“Amazon One users can be harmed if their data is not secure. Unlike biometric systems such as Apple’s Face ID and Touch ID or Samsung Pass, which store biometric information on a user’s device, Amazon One would upload biometric information to the cloud, which raises unique security risks. . Data security is especially important when dealing with immutable customer data, such as palm prints,” the senators wrote.

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


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Elaine R. Knight