Amazon Ditches Self-Checkout Tech Over Privacy Risks, Other Issues

By Giuliano De Leon

Apr 03, 2024 04:17 AM EDT

Amazon Ditches Self-Checkout Tech Over Privacy Risks, Other Issues
A sign reading "Just walk Out Shopping" is pictured next to a display of fresh fruit and vegetables inside Amazon's new Amazon Fresh store in Ealing, west London, on March 4, 2021.
(Photo : NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP via Getty Images)

In a surprising move, Amazon decided to discontinue its self-checkout technology, Just Walk Out, due to privacy concerns and other issues.

The e-commerce giant confirmed this decision on Tuesday, Apr. 2, saying that the transition will only affect Amazon Fresh stores and not Amazon Go.

Amazon Ditches Self-Checkout Tech

USA Today reported that Amazon will remove its Just Walk Out technology from Amazon Fresh locations. But, those installed in Amazon Go stores will remain.

An Amazon spokesperson clarified that the Just Walk Out tech on 130 third-party partner retailers, such as cafes, college stores, and airports, will not be affected.

The American retailer confirmed that affected Amazon Fresh stores will have smart carts as replacements for the self-checkout technology. These carts will scan items and show consumers the prices they're supposed to pay, helping them save time.

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Issues With Amazon Just Walk Out Technology

According to Engadget's latest report, major privacy concerns forced Amazon to abandon its self-checkout tech.

This is because Just Walk Out uses cameras and sensors, which are accused of collecting biometric identifier information without asking for consent from consumers.

Aside from privacy risks, here are other issues that Amazon's Just Walk Out tech suffers from:

  • Amazon's Just Walk Out doesn't use AI. Instead, it allegedly relies on 1,000 people from India to scan camera feeds.
  • Installation of Amazon's self-checkout technology is extremely expensive.
  • The Amazon Just Walk Out tech takes hours to send receipts after consumers purchase.

READ MORE: Amazon Plans to Ditch Signature Brown Boxes to Reduce Packaging Waste

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