“Raise your hands in the air, wave goodbye like you don’t care!” someone said, somewhere, used to. But musicians and human rights groups are concerned and are speaking out about people waving at Amazon’s palm-scanning technology at a popular Colorado location.
Hundreds of artists and about 30 organizations are calling Red Rocks Amphitheater outside of Denver to cancel all contracts and use Amazon One scanner to input events. A website named AmazonDoesntRock.com was formed to share the collective group’s interest in biometric screening technology.
The effort is being led by Fight for the future, an advocacy group says it turns internet outrage into political power to win the public good.
Musicians, organizations and fans are being asked to sign a letter directed to Red Rocks, concert promoter AEG Worldwide, and ticketing group AXS to stop using the technology, saying “the spread of the technology.” wide range of biometric monitoring tools such as palm scanning and facial recognition [transforms venues] into hotspots for ICE raids, fake arrests, police harassment, and identity theft. ”
Amazon and AEG announced in September that Amazon One has come to Red Rocks as a way for fans to connect their palm data to their ticketing accounts and speed into the auditorium.
Amazon One first launched in September 2020 as an input and payment method at Amazon Go convenience stores in Seattle. Since then, it has been added to additional Go stores and other locations, such as Amazon Go Grocery and Amazon Books, as well as Whole Foods Store in Seattle.
Amazon is also pushing to bring the technology into concert venues and stadiums. The new Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle has four grocery stores that allow palm scanning as a method of payment and entry. Stores with Amazon’s broader “Just Walk Out” technology aims to get fans in and out and back in their seats faster.
Amazon One works by scanning the palms of participating customers, providing them with an alternative to the usual process of using an in-app QR code to sign up or another method to pay and check. For instance, it takes less than a minute to sign up and connect your palm to your credit card at Climate Pledge.
Musicians who signed the complaint include Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello and Bikini Kill’s Kathleen Hanna, among others.
“Thousands of people visit Red Rocks every month to experience great performances, not as part of some dangerous biometric surveillance experiment,” Siena Mann, campaign director for the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, said in a press release. “Amazon’s use of convenience to convince mass concertgoers to provide their biometric data is confusing, disturbing, and unacceptable. Simply put, palm scanning and other forms of biometric data collection, like facial recognition, are tools of state violence.”
Update, Wednesday, 4:30 p.m. Pacific Time: An Amazon spokesperson provided the following statement to GeekWire about the protest:
“The claims made by this organization are incorrect. Amazon One isn’t facial recognition technology – it’s optional technology designed to help customers perform daily activities faster and easier, and opt-in users must make a gesture intentionally with the palm of your hand to use the service. We understand that how we protect customer data is important to our customers – it’s also important to us, and that’s why protecting our customers’ privacy is an essential principle. basic design of Amazon One. Amazon One devices are protected by multiple security controls, and palm images are never stored on an Amazon One device. Instead, the images are encrypted and sent to a highly secure area we’ve specifically designed for Amazon One in the cloud, where we create a signature in the palm of your hand.”