Amazon secures delivery contractor accounts with biometric facial verification

Delivery drivers for Amazon Flex are new required by the company to verify their identity by taking a selfie for facial biometrics, in order to prevent unauthorized usage of driver accounts, Business Insider reports.

Amazon Flex is an app for independent contractors to make deliveries for the company, and it recently began prompting users to consent to the collection and storage of their biometric data, and to perform identity verification by taking a selfie. An Amazon spokesperson told Business Insider that the measure was put in place to secure unauthorized use of Flex accounts, and it could also prevent people who have not undergone background checks and may not be eligible to work for Amazon from making deliveries under another name.

The notification to drivers states that biometric data may be derived from submitted pictures, including those already on file, as well as driver’s licenses or other government-issued photo ID. It also notes that the data will be stored for as long as legally permitted, or until its deletion is requested by the account holder.

Business Insider compares the system to one put in place by Uber to protect driver accounts and improve security for riders three years ago.

The use of biometrics to confirm the identities of contractors who have consented to the practice is likely to avoid the controversy generated by law enforcement use of the technology, or by the training methods of AI speech recognition systems. Logistics company Serve recently implemented facial recognition to secure the “last mile” of delivery for businesses.

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