Using a biometric (part of your body) rather than a credit card to make a purchase might offer a lot more convenience for what feels like very little cost, but there are reasons you should be wary of companies like Amazon incentivizing us to use biometrics for everyday transactions.
The online retail giant Amazon has moved from our screens to our streets, with the introduction of Amazon grocery and book stores. With this expansion came the introduction of Amazon One — a service that lets customers use their handprint to pay, rather than tapping or swiping a card.
According to recent reports, Amazon is now offering promotional credit to users who enroll.
In the UK we’re quickly becoming used to biometric-based identification. Many of us use a thumbprint or facial recognition to access our smartphones, authorize payments or cross international borders.
Using a biometric (part of your body) rather than a credit card (something you own) to make a purchase might offer a lot more convenience for what feels like very little cost. But there are several complex issues involved in giving up your biometric data to another party, which is why we should be wary of companies such as Amazon incentivizing us to use biometrics for everyday transactions.
Amazon’s handprint incentive adds to an ongoing academic and policy debate about when and where to use biometrics to “authenticate” yourself to a system (to prove that you are who you say you are).