Amazon was sued on Thursday for failing to advise New York City Amazon Go customers that they were being videotaped.
According to the lawsuit, Amazon violated the 2021 Biometric Identifier Information Law, which compels all New York City businesses to tell customers or visitors that their biometrics are being captured by posting a sign.
Lawsuit Against Amazon Go Store
Plaintiff Rodriguez Perez claims in the lawsuit seen by Gizmodo that he sent a letter on February 7, 2023, informing the firm that the Go store at 80 Pine Street lacked a noticeable sign.
Perez alleges he notified the store that it was in breach of local law by gathering biometric identifying information from consumers without posting a sign. According to the lawsuit, Perez claims the corporation did not react to his letter, nor was a sign displayed outside the door immediately.
A spokeswoman stated in an email, “We do not employ facial recognition technology in any of our businesses, and any assertions to the contrary are untrue.”
The spokesperson clarified, Only shoppers who choose to enroll in Amazon One and identify themselves by hovering their palm over the One device have their palm-biometric data collected securely, and these individuals are provided with the appropriate privacy disclosures during the enrollment process.
The customer has a complete choice over when they are identified using their palm. It advertised itself as a store where consumers could shop and depart without interacting with cashiers or cash registers.
The company asserts that it uses computer vision, deep learning algorithms, and sensor fusion to monitor consumers’ “virtual carts” and record when they add or remove items.
Consumers can join the store by scanning a QR code on their app, by scanning a payment card linked to their account, or by hovering and scanning their palm, which is also tied to their account.
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The lawsuit asserts that the company continues to gather customers’ biometric information by tracking them based on the size and shape of their bodies, and continues to analyze their movements until they exit the store.
Perezs said that while Amazon did post a sign on March 13, it was deceptive and inaccurate because it “fails to disclose that Amazon transforms and keeps biometric identifying information.”
The sign advises consumers that Amazon will not collect their biometric identifier information unless they use the Amazon One palm scanner to enter an Amazon Go store, despite the fact that Amazon Go stores gather biometric identifier information.
In accordance with the legislation, violators have thirty days after receiving a complaint to comply or face severe penalties and litigation. If the corporation is found to be in violation, it could face fines of up to $5,000 for each willful or reckless sale violation and up to $500 for each negligent sale infringement.
Perez is seeking a jury trial and damages for himself and “other Amazon consumers whose rights were infringed by Amazon,” according to the lawsuit.
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