By Aaron Kesel
Amazon has introduced a cart that knows what you are purchasing while you throw it in, Komo News reported.
The cart uses cameras, sensors, and a scale to automatically detect what shoppers are putting in it. It keeps a tally and then charges their Amazon account when they leave the store without ever having to go to a register.
Amazon opened a cashier-less supermarket in Seattle that uses cameras and sensors in the ceiling to track what shoppers grab and charge them as they leave. Amazon.com Inc. also has roughly 25 cashier-less convenience stores with similar technology. This new piece of tech will likely now rollout across its stores. However, there are no plans for that right now as this is a test.
The cart, known as the Amazon Dash Cart, is being tested at a new Los Angeles supermarket Amazon is opening later this year. The store will have cashiers, but Amazon said it wanted to give shoppers a way to bypass the long lines.
Amazon isn’t the only one designing carts, Walmart has a totally creepy idea to monitor your biometric data, pulse, and location from the sensors on a shopping cart handle, Activist Post previously reported.
Last year Walmart applied for a patent that details biometric shopping handles that can track a customer’s heart rate, palm temperature, grip, and how fast the cart is being pushed.
The patent titled “System And Method For A Biometric Feedback Cart Handle” published August 23rd 2019, details a cart with sensors in it that would then send data to a server. That server would then notify store employees to check on individual customers.
Hundreds of retail stores — and soon thousands — are investigating using biometric facial recognition software FaceFirst to build a database of shoplifters to aid in the fight against theft, Activist Post reported.
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However, facial recognition technology currently has a lot of problems. Activist Post recently reported how Amazon’s own facial “Rekognition” software erroneously and hilariously identified 28 members of Congress as people who have been arrested for crimes.
Activist Post previously reported on another test of facial recognition technology in Britain which resulted in 35 false matches and 1 erroneous arrest. So the technology is demonstrated to be far from foolproof.
Recently, Activist Post reported how Sens. Ed Markey, D-Mass. and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., introduced a bill that seeks to ban the use of facial recognition and biometric surveillance technology; however, that legislation only covers law enforcement, not stores.
Last year Congress demanded that Amazon disclose how its Ring service stores data, while other lawmakers have called for a halt of rolling out facial recognition technology altogether, Activist Post reported.
Legislators also called for putting a “time out” on facial recognition technology until regulations are in place which does cover retailers. Congress has held several oversight hearings on the topic and there are at least four previous bills in the works to limit the technology.
Boston city council unanimously voted recently to ban the use of biometric technology and prohibit any city official from obtaining facial surveillance software/cameras by asking for it through third parties as well. The legislation now moves to Mayor Marty Walsh for review and signing into law.
On top of Boston, other cities in the U.S. have outright banned the biometric technology like San Francisco, Somerville, Massachusetts, and Oakland, California, as Activist Post reported.
Over 40 organizations signing a letter calling for an independent watchdog to recommend a ban on government use of facial recognition technology.
In total, governments in at least 25 countries are employing vast programs for mobile data tracking, apps to record personal contact with others, CCTV networks equipped with facial recognition, permission schemes to go outside and drones to enforce social isolation regimes, according to The Guardian.
It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Amazon combine its pre-existing facial recognition cameras with its new cart. And what about Walmart, what in the world do they need our biometric data for? All in all it is a scary prospect for the future of retail shopping.
Aaron Kesel writes for Activist Post.
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