Amazon seller video identification tested in Vietnam

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There are reports out of Amazon seller video identification which could be used as a means to cut down on sellers opening multiple Amazon Seller accounts.

Buzzfeed reported that a seller in Vietnam was asked to activate his webcam to capture a 5 second video of his face when setting up an account. Having done so, there was no record within his Amazon account of what happened to the Amazon seller video identification, if he could delete it, where it was stored or what it would be used for. This obviously opens privacy issues, but it’s unlikely that Western merchants will complain when they know that sellers in the Far East are regularly opening new accounts and switching from one to another if they are suspended.

What’s not known is Amazon seller video identification will be used for account confirmations after they have been opened. It’s not secret that businesses in the East will get stooges to open accounts so that they have clean Amazon trading accounts. Once the stooge has been paid for the account, they’re nothing to do with the business so if one day Amazon turn around and ask for another video that would be a problem.

Biometric log ins are nothing new – we routinely use fingerprint, face or iris recognition to log into our mobile phones. The difference is that this is our choice and we’re informed of privacy issues up front.

Amazon have been working in the face recognition area for some time with their Rekognition software which they’re touting to law enforcement. This is the first instance that we’ve heard of a deployment on the Amazon marketplace. Amazon’s record with video footage isn’t particularly spotless, they’ve recently been in the news for Ring doorbell videos being freely shared within the organisation.

So the question is, if the marketplace were implement widespread use of Amazon seller video identification to identify sellers and then use it to re-verify sellers in the future, would you be up for having a five second video of yourself stored by Amazon or is it a step too far? The benefit would be it would be much harder for banned sellers to reopen and run new accounts unless the person originally videoed was on constant call. The downside is… well isn’t it just a bit too Orwellian with shades of 1984?

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