Biometrics are increasingly used for identification and mobile payments, but most current systems face limitations and concerns about privacy. Maybe you’ve worried about your facial data being held by various tech companies or hesitated about pressing your finger on a dirty scanner at border checks.

Touchless palm verification is one piece of tech that might be able to address these problems. Palm recognition systems work by identifying vein patterns and lines and creases on the hand’s surface, ideally using cameras and infrared to avoid contact.

“Compared with [a] face, palmprint is not privacy sensitive,” said Xu Liang, who has studied palm recognition and works at Chinese University of Hong Kong’s Shenzhen Institute of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics for Society. “Given a palmprint image, no one could tell to whom it belongs. In daily life, the palm is curled up, so without active cooperation, it’s very hard for hidden cameras to steal our palmprint information.”