Lawsuit against Amazon Go: Dispute over biometric customer data

Lawsuit against Amazon Go: Dispute over biometric customer data

In early March, news broke that Amazon was closing eight of its cashless Amazon Go stores in the US. Now it turns out that Amazon has been sued. It is about the use of biometric customer data.

He reports that News channel NBC News. The lawsuit alleges that the company failed to place appropriate signage at Amazon Go stores in New York, as required by law: Beginning in 2021, businesses in New York City are required to display conspicuous signs when collecting biometrics from customers capture, such as B. Face scans and fingerprints.

The plaintiff states that Amazon Go stores constantly use customers’ biometrics “by scanning (their palms) to identify them and by using computer vision, deep learning algorithms and sensor fusion, measuring the shape and size of each customer’s body to identify and track customers, where they move in stores and determine what they have bought”.

Late and insufficiently informed?

It also said the company only put up signs about its biometric tracking activities more than a year after the law went into effect. Amazon Go stores allow customers to take any product off the shelves and leave without having to checkout. To enter these stores, customers must scan a code from the Amazon app with a connected credit card. Some stores also offer a feature called Amazon One. This is an identity check and payment service that is authorized via palm scanners. However, according to the lawsuit, the information about when which biometric data is recorded is said to be misleading.

Announced closures

It is also interesting that Amazon, as part of the announced closure of a number of Go shops, confirmed a few days ago that they are still considering which functions will be offered in the cashless stores: “We remain committed to the Amazon Go format, operate more than 20 Amazon Go stores in the United States and will continue to learn which locations and features customers resonate with best as we continue to develop our Amazon Go stores,” said a spokesman for the company.

In a statement sent to NBC News, an Amazon spokesman also defended the previous usage. It said that Amazon has explicitly opted out of facial recognition and that all systems used to identify customers in the Go stores are not biometric technology. “Only customers who sign up for Amazon One and choose to be identified by placing their palm over the Amazon One device will have the ability to securely collect their palm biometrics,” it said these persons are informed about data protection during the registration process.


  • Amazon is being sued for using customer biometrics without proper signage.
  • Beginning in 2021, NYC businesses will be required to post signs when collecting biometrics.
  • Amazon Go stores use biometric data to identify and track customers.
  • Amazon only put up signs a year after the law went into effect.
  • Amazon Go stores enable cashless shopping.
  • Customers can register with Amazon One and legitimize using palm scanners.
  • Amazon emphasizes that no biometric technology is used.

See also:

Amazon, Supermarket, London, Amazon GO, Amazon Go Grocery

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