The suit says Amazon Go stores in New York City failed to properly alert customers that they were being biometrically tracked

Amazon is facing a lawsuit alleging that the company did not properly notify customers entering Amazon Go stores in New York City that it was tracking and collecting their biometric information.

The lawsuit alleges that the e-commerce giant violated New York City Law It was passed in early 2021 that requires businesses that collect, store, or share “biometric ID information” to post signs near their entrances to alert customers that they have done so.

the lawsuit It was filed Thursday in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of shopper Alfredo Rodriguez Perez.

Amazon Go Store
A woman walks through the Amazon Go store on March 6, 2023 in New York City.

Leonardo Munoz / View via Getty Images

Amazon Go stores, which opened for the first time In 2018, he’s using what the company calls “Just Walk Out Technology.” Shoppers scan a mobile app, then are tracked using “computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning” technology as they place items in their carts, and the company He says on its website.

There are no cashiers and no need to go out. Instead, shoppers simply walk out of the store, and their Amazon account is charged when they leave.

“Just Walk Out technology automatically detects when products are taken from or returned to the shelves and tracks them in a virtual cart,” Amazon’s website reads.

The lawsuit alleges that Amazon Go collects shoppers’ biometric information “by scanning the palms of certain customers’ hands to identify them and by applying computer vision and deep learning algorithms and integrating sensors that measure the shape and size of each customer’s body to identify customers, tracking where they move in stores and determining what They bought it.

Since New York City began enacting its notification law in January 2021, the lawsuit says, Amazon Go stores have “failed to post any signs” letting shoppers know that it is collecting such biometric information.

However, after March 10th story In The New York Times about the use of facial recognition technology by companies — Amazon Go stores in New York City posted their first notification signals on March 14, according to the lawsuit.

The signs read, “Biometric information collected at this location,” according to the lawsuit.

In a statement sent to CBS News on Saturday in response to the lawsuit, an Amazon spokesperson said Amazon Go stores “do not use facial recognition technology.”

“Amazon One, our contactless, palm-based identity and payment service, is an entry-level option available at select Amazon Go stores along with a credit card and the Amazon app,” the statement read. Only shoppers who choose to register with Amazon One and choose to be identified by hovering their palm over an Amazon One device have biometric data securely collected, and those individuals are provided with appropriate privacy disclosures during the registration process. The customer is always in control of the time. in which they choose to identify themselves using their palm.In addition, the Just Walk Out technology used to distinguish shoppers from one another is not biometric, and is only used to associate a customer with their purchase during a single store visit.”

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