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Whole Foods Unveils Pay-By-Hand Service in Austin, Texas


Shoppers at Whole Foods in Austin, Texas can now shop with the flick of a palm.

The new Amazon One device is connected to a customer’s credit or debit card and can scan their unique palm signature in about a second.

Austin is the first city to get the Amazon One device outside of Seattle, where the company has rolled out the feature to nine Whole Foods locations.

“Amazon One aims to make everyday activities, such as checking out in a store, easier and more convenient for customers,” said Thi Luu, director of product management for Amazon Physical Retail and Technology, on Tuesday.

“We created Amazon One to give users a fast, reliable, and secure way to identify themselves or authorize a transaction while moving seamlessly through their day.”

The palm-reading service has raised privacy concerns with some officials. Last year, Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), and Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.), sent a letter to Amazon CEO Andy Jassy about the company’s biometric data collection practices.

“Amazon’s expansion of the collection of biometric data through Amazon One raises serious questions about Amazon’s plans for such data and its respect for user privacy, including how Amazon may use the data to for advertising and tracking purposes,” the senators wrote.

Austin is the first city to get the Amazon One device outside of Seattle, where the company has rolled out the feature to nine Whole Foods locations.
Amazon
Whole Foods Unveils Pay-By-Hand Service in Austin, Texas
The palm-reading service has raised privacy concerns with some lawmakers.
Amazon

Amazon said when rolling out the technology in 2020 that “the Amazon One device is protected by multiple security controls.”

“The images are encrypted and sent to a highly secure area that we have customized for Amazon One in the cloud where we create your palm signature,” wrote Dilip Kumar, vice president of Amazon Physical Retail and Technology, in 2020.


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