These NJ grocery stores want to scan your body part
If that headline sounds alarmist, it was intentional. No, NOT for ‘clickbait’, but to prove a point. The point is that sometimes things that sound alarming aren’t so bad when you look into them.
Almost all of the 23 Whole Foods locations throughout New Jersey already have in place a payment system developed by Amazon which allows you to pay by offering your palm to be scanned. It’s said that the scan reads not only the fine lines of your palm but the underlying vein structure too, making your particular palm scan truly unique to you. Research shows it's more accurate than fingerprints.
In an age when credit and debit cards are prone to skimmers and cloning and information from those tappable cards are being plucked right out of thin air, it’s a technology step towards good and not evil.
Or is it?
The thought of it is making some uncomfortable. And I get it. It’s new. Your mind starts to look for the negatives. Is there a way the government can start tracking you through it? (Hey, do you have a cell phone in your pocket? They already can.) Can people know everywhere I’ve been? (Do you have any idea just how many cameras you’re showing up on in any given day? Your own neighbor’s Ring doorbell cam can tell exactly when you drive past for work.)
So just because something feels creepy doesn’t necessarily mean we should fear it. While I’m never a fan of the if-you-have-nothing-to-hide-what’s-the-big-deal mentality, how many of us truly are worried about being tracked? Sure, in the opening credits of “The Sopranos” Tony is seen snatching a ticket on the Turnpike, and EZPass was already out by then. For him, it makes sense to avoid the technology.
For us? Technologies like palm scans while feeling sinister aren’t really. Even the website nerdist.com took a look at this technology and the only cons they could come up with were it felt too chummy with a faceless corporation and that there was the most microscopic chance of some psychopath cutting off your hand to use your palm. Even they admitted though the chances of such a thing were near zero.
And a palm scan could save you from the much more realistic ways of having your bank account drained. Identity theft.
So while it seems the stuff of the movie “Gattaca” I think you’re going to be okay. Now if they start asking you to remove clothing to scan other things, then come talk to me.
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Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.
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