Amazon’s latest gimmicks are pushing the boundaries of privacy


Additionally, while companies such as Apple and Samsung have made biometric fingerprints and face scanners accessible to the public, Amazon One takes the opposite approach by ensuring that data never leaves the device. Kumar writes that “palm paintings are never stored” on Amazon One. Instead they are encrypted and sent to a special high security zone of Amazon’s cloud to be converted into a “palm signature” based on the unique and distinct features of the user’s hand. The service then compares that signature to the file in each user’s account and returns a match or no response that is returned to the device.

It is understandable that Amazon does not want to store databases of the palm data of locals on publicly accessible machines that can be manipulated. But the system probably could have been set up to generate palm signatures locally, remove the image of a person’s hand, and send only encrypted signatures for analysis. The fact that all those palm images are going to cloud processing creates a point of failure.

The Internet Society Hall says, “Both home drones and palm payments are heavily reliant on the cloud and the security provided by that cloud storage.” “This is worrisome because it means that all the risk-rogue employees, government data requests, data breeches, secondary usage-associated with data collection on the server-side might be possible. I would much rather store biometric templates locally More comfortable. On a server where it can be exfiltrated. ”

A spokesperson for Amazon told WIRED, “We believe the cloud is highly secure. In addition, Amazon One Palm data is stored separately from other personal identifiers, and is uniquely encrypted in the cloud with its key in a secure area has been done.”

However, privacy advocates should note that all this focus on security and data protection is a big question about when digital surveillance technologies can and do become commonplace.

“Amazon is throwing terrible spaghetti on the wall,” says Evan Greer, deputy director of the digital rights group Fight for the Future. “In the process they are increasing the brightness of valuable data that we will and will not accept. It seems that it is more about stress-testing our tolerance for monitoring in the name of the facility.”

Greer points out that while many Amazon monitoring technologies had privacy consequences, the company had not clearly foreseen. Unbeknownst to customers, for example, Amazon used third-party human reviewers to listen to audio snippets of people talking on their Echo speakers and other Alexa-enabled products in their homes. Ring doorbell cameras have repeatedly been set on fire for both security issues and Amazon’s programs to share neighborhood door footage with law enforcement. The company had to face a one-year ban on law enforcement using its facial recognition platform Recognition after criticism and protests about the service’s accuracy and reliability.

“Amazon’s entire business model is based on surveillance,” Greer emphasized. “With each new product they make it more clear that their goal is to collect so much data about everything that their monopoly power becomes inaccessible.”

Prior to Always Home Cam and Amazon Go, the company announced a new wearable called Halo, which tracks, among other things, the emotional tone of your voice.

Technological leaps like Amazon are, in some cases, creating subtle but powerful guiding forces in society, despite the obvious benefits for users. For example, Alli of BioHocking Village explains that as long as everyone has a smartphone in their pocket, scanning your palm doesn’t really provide much more convenience than performing NFC transactions or barcodes.

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