December 5, 2023
Amazon Web Services has introduced a palm-scanning identity service for enterprise clients that lets people authenticate when entering physical premises. Called Amazon One Enterprise, the new service leverages the Amazon One offering launched in 2020 to allow biometric payments in Amazon’s cashierless Amazon Go stores, bringing the technology to the workplace. At retail, Go shoppers can link payment cards to their palm-print and complete transactions by placing their hand on a scanner. While use of biometric data has raised concerns, Amazon appears to be expanding the technology’s applications.
In the three years since Amazon One debuted, “the company has doubled down” on biometric identification, “offering cash incentives to entice customers to enroll their palm-prints, expanding the service to all of its Whole Foods stores in the U.S., and forging partnerships with third-party retailers,” TechCrunch reports.
Amazon One Enterprise — introduced at AWS’s annual re:Invent conference in Las Vegas last week — “seems a natural extension for this technology, given Amazon’s role in the enterprise software stack and dominance in the cloud infrastructure market.”
The palm-scanning move seems timed to take advantage of companies attempting to transition remote workforces back into the physical workspace and other applications. “With Amazon One Enterprise, they can deploy contactless authentication devices wherever people flow, be that office foyers, universities or airports — and everywhere in between,” TechCrunch writes.
Amazon One Enterprise can also be used to safeguard “digital assets such as restricted software resources (e.g., financial data and HR records),” Amazon writes in a press release that says the technology “eliminates operational overhead associated with the management of traditional enterprise authentication methods, like badges and PINs,” and can be easily installed by IT and security administrators to “manage users, devices, and software updates in the AWS Management Console.”
The press announcement “mentioned several early customers using the service, including Amazon itself, which uses it for controlled access to its own data centers,” SiliconANGLE writes, providing a detailed breakdown of the “component technologies” involved with implementing AOE.
Among the early adopters: “Kone, an elevator and escalator vendor, is using it for controlled access in smarter buildings, where elevators don’t stop on every floor; Boon Edam, which literally makes doors, is also using it for controlled access; and Paznic is using the technology for access to bank safe deposit boxes,” writes SiliconANGLE.