Panera Bread is rolling out palm scanners that may hyperlink prospects’ handprints to their loyalty accounts — a transfer the corporate paints as handy however that privateness advocates have decried.

The biometric-gathering know-how, developed by Amazon, will hit shops within the subsequent few months, Panera stated on Wednesday. The devices will assist recommend menu objects primarily based on prospects’ order histories and permit workers to greet prospects by their names and share prospects’ accessible rewards, the corporate stated.

Panera Bread CEO Niren Chaudhary described the transfer as a “frictionless, customized, and handy” evolution of Panera’s loyalty program, which boasts 52 million members. 

The fast-casual chain has already put in the scanners at places in St. Louis, the place it’s headquartered, and says the scanners will “develop to further places within the coming months,” though it is unclear how lots of the chain’s 2,000-plus places can be affected. Reuters reported that Amazon One know-how is in use at some 200 places throughout the nation, together with Amazon’s Entire Meals Market subsidiary and Amazon Go shops.

Panera says the know-how will securely retailer its prospects’ biometric knowledge. Nonetheless, digital rights activists fear that info may very well be tapped by federal companies or accessed by hackers. 

“Federal companies like Customs and Border Safety have skilled devastating hacks the place massive databases of biometric info have been stolen,” Struggle for the Future informed CBS MoneyWatch in an e-mail. “Do we actually anticipate Amazon, or Panera, to have higher cybersecurity practices?”

Panera and Amazon didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark. 

Amazon started utilizing biometric-gathering know-how at its Amazon Go places in late 2020, however the funds system has raised some eyebrows and alarms. In 2021, a bunch of U.S. senators despatched a letter to Amazon’s CEO requesting particulars about how the corporate intends to make use of prospects’ knowledge and whether or not it would proceed to construct up its biometric info. 

Amazon’s monitoring practices are additionally on the crux of a lawsuit filed earlier this month. The go well with alleges the e-commerce big skirted New York Metropolis knowledge privateness legal guidelines by not disclosing to customers that it was accumulating their biometric info.