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Imagine walking into a store, picking something up, and just walking out. No longer is this shoplifting, it is legal. In 2016, Amazon introduced their “Just Walk Out” technology in Seattle. “Just Walk Out” uses cameras located throughout the store to monitor shoppers, document what they pick up, and automatically charge that shoppers’ Amazon account when they leave the store. Recently, Amazon started selling “Just Walk Out” technology to other retailers. Since then, retailers have become increasingly interested in collecting and using customers’ “biometric identifiers and information.” Generally, “biometrics” is used to refer to “measurable human biological and behavioral characteristics that can be used for identification, or the automated methods of recognizing an individual based on those characteristics.” With the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in more contactless payment, the commercial use of biometric identifiers and information has grown exponentially. As biometric technology is constantly evolving, so is its definition.

Some examples of physical characteristics typically measured are: retina or iris scans, fingerprints, voiceprints, and scans or records of hand or face geometry. Behavioral characteristics can include handwriting samples and signatures, voice recognition, and keyboard stroke and typing habits. Data collected and recorded by measuring an individual’s biological characteristics are known as “biometric identifiers.” Data derived and conclusions drawn from these biometric identifiers are known as “biometric information.”



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