The U.S. bakery and cafe chain Panera will soon allow customers to pay by presenting their palms to be read, making it the first restaurant chain to implement the new technology, and raising alarm among privacy advocates, reports The Guardian.
Panera announced March 22 it would roll out Amazon One biometric readers in coming months that will allow customers to access credit card and loyalty account information by scanning their palms. The system was developed by Amazon, and is in use at some airports, stadiums and Whole Foods grocery stores.
Amazon One’s expansion into non-Amazon facilities has faced widespread scrutiny. In 2021, Denver Arts & Venues dropped plans to use palm-scanning technology for ticketless entry at concerts in Red Rocks Amphitheater in Denver, after opposition from the digital rights group Fight for the Future.
Panera did not specify where the technology would be available but said it had already been deployed at a number of bakery-cafes in St Louis, Missouri, where the company is based. Panera’s loyalty program includes about 52 million members.
Amazon launched its palm-reading technology at Amazon Go locations in late 2020, and is now facing a lawsuit relating to privacy violations after a shopper in New York City claimed customers were not properly notified such data would be collected.
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