Newsletter: A major biometrics privacy win


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Hey readers! Andrew here. Welcome to the Tuesday edition of Internet Insider

It has been a busy few days for the Daily Dot team, with a large group of our reporters covering South by Southwest. They’ve done a lot of great work, and I hope you’ve been able to follow along. 


Today, we’ve got the most important internet culture news of the day, plus I dive into a recent major biometrics privacy win by activists. 

Let’s dive right into the news.



Ukraine: As we’ve noted quite a bit in this newsletter, the Russian government’s invasion of Ukraine is playing out online in vivid and heartbreaking ways. The latest example of that comes from a report from our Tech Reporter Mikael, who notes how one viral video appears to show empty grocery store shelves in Ukraine. One user commented on the video: “Where is all that humanitarian aid?” 

Yikes: Director Jane Campion is being criticized online for putting down Serena and Venus Williams during her acceptance speech at the 27th Critics Choice Awards on Sunday night. Our Culture Reporter Michelle dives into the backlash Campion received. 


SXSW: The Daily Dot has been covering South by Southwest (SXSW) all weekend. While some of you have probably seen our special edition newsletters from the conference, there’s even more reporting on our site. Check out all of our SXSW coverage—including movie reviews, analysis, and morehere


Binary code on palm print against a black screen.

A big win in the fight for biometric privacy 

The rise of biometric scanning technology, like facial recognition, has faced a torrent of criticism in recent years from privacy advocates, civil rights groups, and more. 

So when Amazon announced that it would be bringing its “Amazon One” palm scanning technology to the Red Rocks Amphitheatre as a way to enter the music venue, it was no surprise that the decision was met with intense pushback.

In November of last year, digital rights group Fight for the Future launched a campaign where artists and activists urged the venue to stop using the palm scanning technology. That campaign included an open letter signed by 300 artists and 35 organizations condemning the use of the technology.  

Now, that pushback has resulted in the venue to decide not to offer the scanning technology as a form of ticketless entry. 


Last week, Fight for the Future said the communications director at Denver Arts and Venues, which runs the Red Rocks Amphitheatre, said that it had not been in contact with Amazon “for months” and that the palm scanning tech would not be used at their venues


“I’m not sure what the future of this technology is, but at this point it doesn’t involve our venues,” the official said, according to Fight for the Future. 

The decision was hailed as a victory by the digital rights group. 

“Red Rocks’ decision to abandon Amazon palm scanning puts the venue on the right side of history, as a defender of human rights and the privacy of music fans. Other venues should similarly listen to the hundreds of artists, organizations, and fans who don’t see this technology as ‘convenient’ but recognize it as a tool of corporate surveillance and super-charged state violence,” Leila Nashashibi, a campaigner at Fight for the Future, said in a statement. 

Amazon’s palm scanning has also caught the attention of Congress. Last year, a group of senators sent a letter to Amazon CEO Andy Jassy where they asked to know more about how the company plans to use the biometric data they collected with the palm scanners after the retail giant said it would begin rolling out the scanners at its Whole Foods stores. 


The palm scanners, the senators said, raised “serious questions about Amazon’s plans for this data and its respect for user privacy.” 




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A TikTok user has ignited debate after posting about her DoorDash woes amid rising gas prices.

A TikToker has gone viral after claiming that lying about her race landed her a job interview. The user claimed after being denied a job, she re-applied and put her “race as Caucasian” and got a call the next day.

Enter the Oculus Quest 2 Giveaway now for a chance to win the advanced, all-in-one VR bundle, plus other prizes worth $550. Entry closes on March 25.*

In an age where many people live and work online, the internet has become the home of the modern picket. In “Viral Labor,” the Daily Dot explores the way workers are fighting for their rights and using the internet to advocate for themselves. 

*The Daily Dot may receive a commission in connection with purchases of products or services featured here.



A Starbucks employee has gone viral after sharing her coworker’s special greeting to a drive-thru customer on TikTok. Part of the greeting is: “Good morning, welcome to Starbucks, where my anxiety is chronic but our coffee’s iconic.” 

starbucks shutterstock image (l) female starbucks drive through worker with headset (r)

Now Playing: 🎶The Patient Ferris Wheel” by The Gaslight Anthem🎶

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