According to a lawsuit filed Thursday, Amazon failed to notify its New York City customers that they were being tracked by facial recognition technology.
Alfredo Perez’s lawyers claimed in a class-action lawsuit that the corporation failed to inform visitors to Amazon Go convenience stores that the technology was in operation. New York is the only major American city that requires businesses to show notices if they are collecting consumers’ biometric information, such as facial scans or fingerprints, thanks to a 2021 law.
In 2018, Amazon launched its Go shops, promising that shoppers could stroll in, take whatever things they desired off the shelves, and leave without checking out. When customers leave the business, the corporation tracks their movements and charges their accounts. It opened its first New York location the following year and has 10 outlets, all in Manhattan, according to its website.
Notwithstanding market upheaval, the Fed is expected to approve a quarter-point rate hike next week.
According to the lawsuit, Amazon only recently posted notices warning New York customers of its use of facial recognition technology, more than a year after the statute went into effect. Amazon did not immediately respond to a comment request.
According to the lawsuit, in order for Amazon Go to successfully follow its users and the products they take, it must continuously watch their bodies.
“To enable this ‘Just Walk Out’ technology, Amazon Go stores constantly collect and use customers’ biometric identifier information, including by scanning the palms of some customers to identify them and by applying computer vision, deep learning algorithms, and sensor fusion that measure the shape and size of each customer’s body to identify customers, track where they move in the stores, and determine what they have purchased,” the company says.
The Surveillance Technologies Oversight Project, a legal advocacy group dedicated to New York privacy protections, is representing Perez.
“That shows that even a global internet firm can’t violate local privacy regulations,” project director Albert Cahn said via text message. “As we wait for long-overdue federal privacy protections, it demonstrates that local governments can do so much to safeguard their inhabitants.”