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    Vancouver Sun: British Columbia bars violating personal information by scanning I.D.

    The Vancouver Sun reports that British Columbia’s Privacy Commissioner has decided (pdf) that “identity-scanning technology used by about 100 bars and clubs provincewide violates the B.C. Personal Information and Protection Act.”

    The decision arose from a customer’s complaint about the Wild Coyote Club, a bar on Southwest Marine Drive in Vancouver, which requires patrons to swipe their driver’s licences and have their photo taken. Customers’ names, photos and ages are stored in a database.

    The technology is used by Bar Watch members — a coalition of bar owners — to make it easier to identify violent individuals and deter potential violence. […]

    Although the commissioner’s decision is specific to Wild Coyote — the club is required to stop collecting personal information and destroy its database of customers within 30 days — it likely has ramifications for other B.C. establishments using the technology.

    Australia’s Privacy Commissioner has looked into a similar issue, as has the Calgary Privacy Commissioner. In March, Utah passed a law (pdf) that required bars and clubs to use “an electronic verification program” (basically, an ID-scanning and data-gathering system) for people who appear younger than 35. A few years ago there an uproar in New Jersey when it was revealed a club called KatManDu had scanned and kept the ID data of thousands of its customers — keeping the data for marketing purposes.

    2 Responses to “Vancouver Sun: British Columbia bars violating personal information by scanning I.D.”

    1. joe Says:

      Does NJ still have the ID scanning and is it legal? Has any of this been challenged? The thought of keeping this for marketing purposes is sick.

    2. Privacy Lives Says:

      When it was revealed that New Jersey club KatManDu was gathering and keeping patrons’ license data for marketing purposes, the head of New Jersey’s Motor Vehicle Commission sent a letter to the club ordering it to stop the data collection and delete the information already gathered. She said the data collection violated state and federal laws protecting the privacy of individuals’ license data, and she threatened possible prosecution if the club didn’t comply.

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