Note: This article may contain commentary reflecting the author's opinion.

Comedian Russell Brand told his viewers on Monday about the dangers of Amazon’s new payment system, Amazon One, that reads the palm of your hand to pay for groceries and other items at Whole Foods locations in California and Texas.

Amazon says that “Your palm is made up of tiny, distinct features on and below the surface, many that are indiscernible to the human eye or a standard camera,” and that those distinctions can be read by Amazon One to create a “unique palm signature.”

“Move over freedom,” Brand began. “It’s not only ApplePay who’s the competitor here. It’s the concept of liberty.”

“When the mentality behind these ideals and behind these advances often include data capture, increased power for companies like Amazon where we know that Amazon has relationships with the police state, with the CIA, with the FBI, with the government. They’ve been guilty of handing over data without our consent before or ought we be querying whether or not this is simply for our convenience right from the get-go?”

“All you gotta do is sieg heil there’s a little device down here…” Brand mocked in a character voice. “It’s not like it says literally in the Bible that the mark of the beast will be rendered in the palm of your hand or anything like that. Don’t worry just walk face first into Armageddon without questioning it. It’s inconvenient having an Apocalypse.”

“Oh, it’s so inconvenient. Oh me wallet…oh, I’m exhausted,” the actor said sarcastically in reaction to a news anchor saying how convenient the new system is. “We’re not all Joe Biden that can’t carry out rudimentary, simple procedures. Are we? Or if you got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to fear. Just give all your data to Amazon and let them give that data to whoever they want.”

The payment system would allow users to pay for groceries “with a wave of their hand.” 

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“Oh so convenient, paying with my goods with a wave of a hand. Just waving my hand at my new state deity. Just waving away my freedom. Goodbye, freedom! It is so convenient, so easy,” Brand mocked, adding, “Let’s just hope there’s never a point when they start saying ‘what are your political beliefs? The social credit scores you. ‘Do you have the medications we want? Do you believe what we want you to believe? Are you interested in freedom are ya? You’re not interested in controlling your own life are you?”

The comedian then went on to mock the uniformity of local news channels in their coverage adding, “They’re all singing from the same song sheet.”

In response to a news commentator stating that payment first began with the credit card swipe, Brand mocked, “So I remember that, the credit card swipe. Then it was the fingerprint, then it was the palm swipe, then it’s into your cell, then its shave your body then put you into that little fluid tank like Neo at the beginning of the matrix.”

“Yup, no problem there. Then you’ve got no freedom at all. Then you vote for who we tell you to vote for. We can have the appearance of elections but both parties are basically the same,” he continued. “Yup, I’ve seen that. Both of them are essentially run by the same corporate interests.”

He then went on to point out that paying with your hand will likely lead to people spending money they don’t have and said repeatedly “bye-bye freedom,” adding “you are a prisoner.”

Amazon claims that they designed the new feature, “in accordance with Amazon’s long-standing privacy policies and controls” and that, “Your palm data is used to generate your unique palm signature and to confirm your identity when you use Amazon One. Your information is not stored on an Amazon One device and is protected at all times, both at rest and in-transit.”

While Amazon may claim to value the privacy of its customers, data has proven to be one of the most valuable resources in the modern, digital economy. Russell went on to explain that Amazon has previously utilized its Ring doorbell data to assist law enforcement and admitted that its stores “Alexa voice data.” As the economy gets increasingly digitized, your agency will likely diminish unless there’s pushback.

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