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Amazon to bring palm recognition technology to Red Rocks


Your palm could soon be your ticket to a concert.

Amazon says it is bringing its palm recognition technology to the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Denver, and that it will be available on other sites in the coming months. This is the first time that technology, called Amazon One, will be used outside of some Amazon stores, where shoppers can pay for groceries and snacks by swiping their palms.

Starting Tuesday, Red Rocks viewers can sign up to connect their palm to a ticketing account by placing their hand on a device. They only need to register once and can then use their palm to participate in other shows and events on the site. An Amazon account is not required to use it.

Amazon has signed an agreement with entertainment company AEG to bring the technology to Red Rocks, which sells tickets on AEG’s ticketing site, AXS.

Bryan Perez, CEO of AXS, said other sites plan to add the technology in the coming months, but declined to say where and how much. AEG is a partner of more than 350 stadiums and theaters around the world.

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Spectators can get to their seats faster with their palms than holding their phones to an attendant to scan a barcode, Perez said. Those who want to scan their palms will have a separate lane to enter.

“You don’t have to fumble with your phone,” Perez said. “Your hand is still attached to your body.”

Privacy experts have cautioned against companies using biometric data, such as face or palm scans, due to the risk of hacking and theft.

Biometric payment issues

The potential risks of biometric payment systems can outweigh the convenience of holding up a phone rather than your hand. Unlike a password or barcode, biometric information – fingerprints, retina, face or voice – is forever part of your identity. In the event of theft, the information could be used indefinitely by hackers to gain access to buildings, thefts, anything that personal biometric information is linked to.

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Amazon said it keeps the palm images in a secure part of its cloud storage system and does not store the information on the Amazon One device. Users can also request deletion of their information at any time, the company said.

Amazon recently raised the jaws of some privacy advocates by launching a service, called Sidewalk, which connects Amazon-enabled smart devices. The low-speed network taps into a customer’s home Wi-Fi to connect Alexa smart speakers, Ring security cameras, Tile location trackers, and other outdoor sensors.