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Pub Patrons Down Under Subject To Biometric Datamining

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the for-the-large-children dept.

Australia 138

mask.of.sanity writes with an excerpt from ZDNet Australia: "Pubs and clubs in Australia are signing up in droves to national and state biometrics databases that capture patron fingerprints, photos, and scanned driver licenses in efforts to curb violence. The databases of captured patron information mean that individuals banned at one location could be refused entry across a string of venues. Particularly violent individuals could be banned for years. The databases are virtually free from government regulation as biometrics are not covered by privacy laws, meaning that the handling of details are left to the discretion of technology vendors."

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If it can help reduce random violence (2)

nOw2 (1531357) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078608)

This is a great idea!
A problem I've seen is people banned from pubs in one town simply moving on to drinking a little further away. It's too easy for them. A nationwide system would help. Those who only go out at night to harm should not be allowed out anywhere...
I would certainly be pleased to have to "sign in" to a pub if means nobody with me is going to randomly glassed or stabbed by someone out to cause trouble.

Down under (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35078738)

I was "down under" your sister's skirt last night. She's a real freaky slut...

Re:If it can help reduce random violence (2)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078836)

Not so great when that goldmine of data gets stolen (and it will...). Fingerprints, licenses... sounds like good stuff for identity thieves. It would be a lot better if the bars ID everyone, but don't store the data and only compare it against the national database of known troublemakers.

Re:If it can help reduce random violence (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081056)

Not to mention, that I really don't want the govt, and the insurance industry knowing how often I go out to drink, or how MUCH I have (occasionally run bar tabs on CC's..tying that to the pup info would show more detail of what was had, timing, etc)...

That is my business...I don't need to have health insurance or other industries out there knowing yet another one of my lifestyle data points.

Re:If it can help reduce random violence (2)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078882)

The biggest problem with a system like this is actually in erroneous bannings.

I have seen way too many times how the bouncers at a bar or club have thrown people out or simply not allowed them entry for no reason at all. Not to mention that trying to have a polite conversation with them can very well result in you being tackled to the ground and getting arrested for "assaulting" the bouncer (with his buddy of course telling the cops he saw the whole thing).

I have myself on several occasions been told I wasn't allowed in because I was "too drunk" even though I had only consumed one or two beers, one time a friend of mine was allowed in seconds before me and he was so drunk he could barely stand up (not to mention that clothing-wise he looked like a mess with torn and dirty clothes). With a system like this I have no doubt that some bouncer somewhere would've put me on the list for trying to figure out why he thought I was drunk when the girl in front of me in the line who smelled like vodka and vomit wasn't. And good luck getting off the list once you're on it...

Re:If it can help reduce random violence (1)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079402)

I have seen way too many times how the bouncers at a bar or club have thrown people out or simply not allowed them entry for no reason at all. Not to mention that trying to have a polite conversation with them can very well result in you being tackled to the ground and getting arrested for "assaulting" the bouncer (with his buddy of course telling the cops he saw the whole thing).

Bouncers at Australian pubs are mostly tools. It's not exactly a stellar career path. Some of them have associations with organised crime and drug dealing - last person on earth I would trust with any of my personal information, very prone to abuse.

My partner and I encountered it at a RSL club and I refused to have my license scanned, my partner wrote a letter and complained pointing out that we had no assurances how the data would be treated and that it also contravened the national privacy principals, which are not law but reputable organisation adhere to.

I can't say I know the answer, the pubs get violent sometimes and I do love a beer in a cold glass but sometimes a plastic cup might be a better idea. It's all about the class of the customer. I'm just glad that I look intimidating enough not to be messed with. I can look after myself but I think violent behavior is just a sign of poor character. As usual it's the lowest common denominator that brings us all down.

Re:If it can help reduce random violence (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081116)

"Bouncers at Australian pubs are mostly tools."

Interesting..just made me think, and I can think of VERY few bars I ever have gone to, that actually have bouncers, or at least if they have them, it isn't like they're at the door deciding who gets in. Sometimes, someone is checking ids at the door, but not all the time...often it is up to the bartender to check ID.

But really...about the only places I go to that have bouncer presence that you really see and notice...are strip clubs, and some of the BIGGER crowded places in the Quarter (living in New Orleans)...but other than that, most bars I know of and go to, don't have bouncers at all.

Is the bouncer thing more common outside of the US, in the EU and Oz or something?

Re:If it can help reduce random violence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35079252)

This is the kind of thing that needs to be left to the actual people and thusly, should strictly be determined by the owner's of the establishments.

If we have it your way, it won't take long before people with "felony convictions, etc..." will also be banned from all bars. And then it won't be long before we have a situation in which bars will be disproportionately unavailable to minorities, felons etc...

A republic cannot claim to hold people who are free while it continuously comes up with new "classes" of citizen and fails to provide equal protections to all.

Now you would deprive them of basic right of association. How long shall they "not be allowed out anywhere..."? A class of people who you have but arbitrarily assigned guilty of thoughtcrime (how can you *know* if someone is out to harm someone as a matter of course). Anyone who caused such violence with such regularity would surely have been in prison once or twice already if not still there.

Your solution is an affront to liberty and smacks of the typical nanny state bullshit that weighs the world down today.

Re:If it can help reduce random violence (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35079750)

Whites Only!

Re:If it can help reduce random violence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35080056)

maybe change the kind of bars you frequent? seriously, I go to places where people go to drink, not where juvenile morons hang out. never seen a bar fight my whole life, and I'm talking about chicago

Re:If it can help reduce random violence (1)

Omestes (471991) | more than 3 years ago | (#35080914)

I would certainly be pleased to have to "sign in" to a pub if means nobody with me is going to randomly glassed or stabbed by someone out to cause trouble.

What the hell type of pubs do you go to?

I haven't seen anyone randomly attacked at a pub since college... actually no, I think I saw some random violence at a bar that was having a metal concert 2-3 years ago (wasn't truly random, some guy jumped on the stage and almost knocked over a stack, and promptly got coldcocked by another fan/friend-of-the-band). Why do you pick to go to bars where violence happens? I like a dive bar as much as the next guy, but I wouldn't ever go to one where I had a decent chance of being randomly attacked. Granted, I'm not Australian, but us Americans have the reputation for wanton, and random violence.

I probably would completely eschew any bar that wanted to enter me into a data-base or take any biometrics. I would avoid it faster than a bar that carried a chance of random violence.

Why the hell would anyone not into the whole violence thing go to a bar that is known for violence? If you go to bars like that, you somewhat deserve what you get. Or at least you can't really be surprised that something nasty happens. Why not find a bar that attracts a calmer, more balanced, crowd?

Re:If it can help reduce random violence (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081188)

"Why not find a bar that attracts a calmer, more balanced, crowd?"

I was thinking along the same lines with regard to your comments on such violent bars.

At the very least I'm thinking...how are you gonna get laid going to such bars? I mean, unless you're married (and sometimes even if you are) isn't one of the main reasons for going to a bar is to find a good looking chick to hook up with?

That ain't gonna happen in a place where people are randomly throwing punches (or worse).

Re:If it can help reduce random violence (2)

PachmanP (881352) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081314)

At the very least I'm thinking...how are you gonna get laid going to such bars? I mean, unless you're married (and sometimes even if you are) isn't one of the main reasons for going to a bar is to find a good looking chick to hook up with?

That ain't gonna happen in a place where people are randomly throwing punches (or worse).

Poor english to english translation. They're confusing getting laid out with getting laid.

Oh well, another country (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35078610)

on my own no-fly list.

Re:Oh well, another country (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35079512)

I really wouldn't worry about this. I've never seen a bar or pub in Australia (specifically, WA) that does anything like this.

Odd dress restrictions, however, would be another matter.

Re:Oh well, another country (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35080014)

Yeah, the most they have is crappy CCTV. After all, just take a look at Crimestoppers when they glass someone, all they've got is QVGA crap. I can't see many places being able to afford the enormous expenses except a few in each capital city.

Thanks Australia (0)

Even on Slashdot FOE (1870208) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078636)

No matter how paranoid I get about where I live, you always manage to be worse than that. It just makes my life easier knowing a country like this exists and it's not mine.

Re:Thanks Australia (0)

donotlizard (1260586) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078712)

Note to self: never go to Australia or any other Nanny State.

Re:Thanks Australia (3, Insightful)

Hope Thelps (322083) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078766)

Note to self: never go to Australia or any other Nanny State.

How is that a nanny state? It says that the databases AREN'T regulated by the state.

Re:Thanks Australia (1)

Dare nMc (468959) | more than 3 years ago | (#35080354)

Well EU has laws that require, for private corporations also, That disclosure, and consent is needed before sharing identifying data.
US has a similar organization [wikimedia.org] that requires the same treatment of data, but it is currently voluntary (depends on the individual state laws, CA for one does require much of it)
So yeah, the Australian government could certainly help by adding punishments, and enforcements in situations like this, to protect their citizens from being forced into giving up information (since pubs,etc are likely state regulated, competition is limited, and thus the free market is not exerting the needed forces to maintain on it's own.)

Re:Thanks Australia (2)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078760)

this is like the shoplifting database in the USA. if you get a conviction for shoplifting there is a database that retailers check and they will refuse you employment based on it and possibly entry into their stores

Re:Thanks Australia (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35078828)

And this is a bad thing?

Re:Thanks Australia (2)

AlterRNow (1215236) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079760)

If it is a life-long punishment, I'd say yes.

Not everyone who does a bad thing will continue doing it indefinitely. How many people do you know that have stolen some sweets from a store when they were younger, but wouldn't dream of doing it now?

Obviously, this can be counter-acted by a "lifetime" for the ban (so it expires after a few months on the first incident, few years on the second and never on the third, for example) or some way of getting removed from the list such as showing you have received help in curbing the behaviour.

Re:Thanks Australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35079494)

Wait until you are a victim of ID theft. Then sing the praises of the system after you are refused entry to most major department stores, banks, or even 7-11s because someone using your name and ID got arrested for shoplifting.

Re:Thanks Australia (2, Insightful)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078956)

Australia's net censorship system is not going to happen. It was proposed, it was debated and in the end it went flat and Australia STILL has no filtering and less site takedowns than the US.

This pub thing is run by certain pubs themselves in order to keep violent patrons out of, it will probably be reviewed by the government if there are undue privacy issues, but this is not a government program, it is on private property, it is not wide spread and it is not mandatory that you drink in the places with this system.

What's your major issue with Australia anyway? The R rated games ban thing? If that's the biggest civil liberties issue in a country, it makes it pretty good by world standards.

Re:Thanks Australia (1)

das3cr (780388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079700)

Banning firearms, IMO, is the biggest loss of civil liberty in Australia.

Add to that this insulting idea that you can't have a drink without giving up your identity to an establishment that really has NO RIGHT to have or keep makes it plain that there are some serious problems in that county. I've always wanted to visit it. Have many friends who live there. But if the price of a cocktail is your identity, even your fingerprints? Come on ... why in the world would anyone put up with that?

Re:Thanks Australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35079796)

can't have a drink without giving up your identity

 
Because no bars anywhere else ask for ID.

Re:Thanks Australia (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081222)

"Because no bars anywhere else ask for ID."

Well, every since I grew old enough to look like I'm over 21yrs....I never get carded any longer. With me and my crowd, getting carded to check age to drink is pretty much a thing of the past.

Re:Thanks Australia (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 3 years ago | (#35080238)

Banning firearms, IMO, is the biggest loss of civil liberty in Australia.

Firearms aren't banned. You just need a good reason to own one.

Note that this is the same situation as pretty much all of the civilised outside America.

Add to that this insulting idea that you can't have a drink without giving up your identity to an establishment that really has NO RIGHT to have or keep makes it plain that there are some serious problems in that county.

I can count on one hand the number of establishments in the US I haven't been carded at when buying a drink for the first time, and it's been 10+ years since I looked even close to being under 21.

This database is in no way law, or any other form of government policy. It is 100% a collaboration of private businesses. As such, it's trivial to avoid - just don't go to one of the establishments that insists on it.

Re:Thanks Australia (1)

Candid88 (1292486) | more than 3 years ago | (#35080364)

But if the price of a cocktail is your identity

No, the price of a cocktail in an Aussie bar is getting beat up for buying a womans drink.

Banning firearms, IMO, is the biggest loss of civil liberty in Australia.

Maybe to you, but you won't find many Aussies wanting guns legalized. Few would even define the absence of guns as a loss of liberty anymore than they'd define the absence of smallpox as a loss of liberty. We aren't particularly eager to imitate America's tens of thousands of gun deaths a year, we'd rather stick to having tens of gun deaths a year.

Re:Thanks Australia (1)

Pi1grim (1956208) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081058)

Darn it, so when you ban guns, then death from guns go away? Why didn't you just ban murder then? Or are the criminals in Australia reluctant to commit crimes with a gun, that's illegal to own?

Re:Thanks Australia (1)

Candid88 (1292486) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081152)

Whatever, just point out that while Australia has a few dozen gun deaths a year, the USA has hundreds of times that figure, despite only 10x the population. Thats the facts.

Re:Thanks Australia (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 3 years ago | (#35082202)

Darn it, so when you ban guns, then death from guns go away?

Correct. That's how it works everywhere, except the USA.

Re:Thanks Australia (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 3 years ago | (#35080540)

A private business has EVERY RIGHT to control who enters and who dose not enter the establishment. As long as it is not based on Race, Sex, Religion, Sexual Orientation or things of that nature.
What gives you the right to tell me how to run my business? Or my home?
You have every right to patronize my business or not.
You need to learn the differences between Governments and Private Businesses. You also should look into the difference between your rights and what you want.

Re:Thanks Australia (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081278)

"What gives you the right to tell me how to run my business? Or my home?

You have every right to patronize my business or not.

The same government that has pretty much all over the nation (at least in the US) determined that a private business owner of say, a bar...can NOT allow a legal activity such as smoking. Same arguments you've made here have been made, I agree with them...but yet, you see it happening all over the US. Thankfully it hasn't gone 100% that way in New Orleans, but they did get a partial ban on some places through (if your food sales are > booze sales, casinos exempted).

Re:Thanks Australia (1)

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081584)

private business has EVERY RIGHT to control who enters and who dose not enter the establishment. As long as it is not based on Race, Sex, Religion, Sexual Orientation or things of that nature.

That's your view. My view is that businesses should not be allowed to take part in blanket discrimination based on any arbitrary criteria. Proscribing that only certain attributes are worthy of protection, and everyone else can suck it up is a terribly bad way of doing things. It draws a line, and dares people to dance as close to it as they can.

Re:Thanks Australia (1)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081978)

I'm not sure I would call a history of starting bar fights "arbitrary criteria" for not allowing a patron into your bar.

Re:Thanks Australia (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 3 years ago | (#35080912)

What's your major issue with Australia anyway? The R rated games ban thing? If that's the biggest civil liberties issue in a country, it makes it pretty good by world standards.

What about the ridiculous child porn laws? IIRC they've sent a guy to jail for pictures of Simpsons characters.

I pity the guy... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35078646)

.. who dumps a bar manager and finds himself barred from every pub in the land with no right of appeal.

When in Rome (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35078672)

From a personal Kiwi perspective this does not surprise me - I am pretty sure they will require more than the combined efforts of Slashdotters to rectify this issue, I have always been an advocate of a really big wall around Australia

Re:When in Rome (3, Funny)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079028)

I have always been an advocate of a really big wall around Australia

Do you think it's necessary? It seems to me there's already a really big moat around it.

Re:When in Rome (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35079382)

They still get out...

Re:When in Rome (2)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | more than 3 years ago | (#35080568)

I know! We'll infest the moat with sharks and crocodiles and poisinous jellyfish and deadly stingrays... oh wait.

Re:When in Rome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35081264)

sharks with lasers?

Re:When in Rome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35080572)

Q: What's the similarity between sperm and a kiwi?

A: They both come in their millions and only one of them works.

First post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35078674)

Let's hope the private sector doesn't mess this up, so the government has to step in.

Facebook comes to Meatspace (4, Funny)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078700)

So pretty soon we'll have to use a mixture of disguises (including fingerprint covers or gloves) and opting out (not going to bars that do this).

Also:

The databases are virtually free from government regulation as biometrics are not covered by privacy laws, meaning that the handling of details are left to the discretion of technology vendors."

Yay free market! Praise be to Rand!

Re:Facebook comes to Meatspace (2)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078864)

Yay free market! Praise be to Rand!

Free market != no oversight. Even Rand suggested as much in her books.

Re:Facebook comes to Meatspace (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35078958)

Quit trying to freeload on everyone elses labor.. Ayn would never suggest oversight had its uses.. all oversight is bad, all government is bad. Do not speak of the rand in such a way. All praise be to ayn, /sarc

Re:Facebook comes to Meatspace (1)

Loosifur (954968) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079358)

Well, yeah, yay free market! It's a privately-managed list, opted into by private businesses. Nobody is forcing bar owners to use the system, and nobody's forcing patrons to go to bars that do. If you don't like the idea of your biometric data floating around in some private database, tracking bars you frequent and maintaining records of your (mis-)behavior, vote with your feet: only go to bars that don't use biometrics. If you really, really care, start a campaign to convince other people to avoid biometric bars.

Notice that people are rushing to sign up. That tells me that Australians are more interested in continuing to go to bars and pubs than they are about any privacy issues that might be relevant. And, as someone who's spent six years in the bar/restaurant business, this is just making electronic a system that has traditionally been word-of-mouth. People who work in the bar/restaurant industry hang out with other people in the business, and they swap war stories. By day two of working at a bar you know the problem people: angry drunks, people who've been kicked out of some other place, people who skipped out on a tab from the bar down the street, etc.

What would you prefer, that the Aussie government enacts a bill requiring bars to serve Australians anonymously? The Beer Act of 2011? Yeah, nobody'll make a joke about that on late-night tv...

Re:Facebook comes to Meatspace (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35079548)

The Australian Government would not even bother with enacting a bill becasue at the moment the country has no recognition to the right of privacy. Therefore why would the government care if a persons details that the person willingly gave out is abused by business to prevent people from drinking at different bars. Although I think it is a joke that 99% of bars that you go to you have to give over (Drivers Licence + Finger Print) just to gain entry but if you want to gain entry you have no choice at all. Our way or the highway basically.

Re:Facebook comes to Meatspace (1)

js_sebastian (946118) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081444)

Well, yeah, yay free market! It's a privately-managed list, opted into by private businesses. Nobody is forcing bar owners to use the system, and nobody's forcing patrons to go to bars that do. If you don't like the idea of your biometric data floating around in some private database, ...

There are many things that "private businesses" are not allowed to do in any reasonable country. Fact: in europe the bar would not be allowed to store, let alone share with anyone, customer's biometrics without patrons first signing an authorization (and no, walking though the door is not a signature). Also, upon leaving the premises you could request they immediately delete any data they ever had on you.

I say that is a better system, and it is only a loophole in Australian law that allows them to do this. The loophole should be closed.

Re:Facebook comes to Meatspace (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35079488)

Defining free market in this situation would be allowing customers to choose to not use vendors that choose this technology, and allowing those who lose business to go out of business due to free market principals. Free market has nothing to do with basic regulation of legalities, but rather not regulating business choices and consequences of those choices.

What price, freedom? (2)

berryjw (1071694) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078806)

More and more, we dispense with privacy and freedom in the name of safety and security, although all of human history demonstrates we shall gain neither. There will always be violence, there will always be those who will take by force, and there will always be available to them the tools to commit these acts. Has everyone forgotten the cost of freedom? It is not limited to those casualties of past wars, honored though they may be, but includes the living accepting the chance of injury or death to preserve it. Why are we so willing to squander the chance to live, for fear of death? Each of us will surely die, yet so many seem so willing to quit living, for fear of it. Freedom is the chance to fail, the opportunity to make mistakes, it is by nature uncertain. If we are to maintain it, we must accept mistakes will be made and some will abuse it, be it a bar-room brawler or religious zealot. If we deny the chance of this, we've denied the possibility of success, as well.

Re:What price, freedom? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35078928)

I think you mean to say, "All men die, some men never really live."

Awfully cheap, I'd say (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079604)

A simple hack may be sufficient to be free from *insert personal enemy here* in all pubs. And, following Australia a bit, soon in a lot of other places as well.

Re:What price, freedom? (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079714)

PRIVATE businesses don't BELONG to the public. The shopkeeper should have "freedom" too.

All that boilerplate is nice, but if you don't want to get blacklisted by bars the fucking behave yourself or get shitfaced at home. An individual bar in the US can get a ban customers, and sharing info about those who are banworthy is merely cooperation.

Re:What price, freedom? (1)

berryjw (1071694) | more than 3 years ago | (#35080482)

No, once the shopkeeper opened the door to the public, it became public. There are ample laws, in any country, addressing the consequences of such behavior, be it simply rude, destructive, or deadly. This type of action, like so many others, is evading the law, and denying basic civil liberty. I do not condone anyone's violence, in any place, but accept the reality it will happen, no matter what security theatre is performed. I *do* object to the notion that someone like you can dismiss everyone's rights by enforcing your own bit of 'law', in the name of said theatre. If you don't like the public law, don't invite the public to your place.

Re:What price, freedom? (1)

BatGnat (1568391) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081988)

$1.05

Tabs (1)

ikkonoishi (674762) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078820)

One reason they like this is it means they can let the people run up tabs if they don't have enough for their drinks. So if you only bring $20 with you so you won't spend too much while drunk they can get you to run up a tab, and collect on it later.

Where have you been? (3, Informative)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078832)

Back in the UK, this story caused a lot of concern when it hit the main news.... So much for freedom loving UK.

http://www.croydonguardian.co.uk/news/4718624.Website_slams_bar_s_fingerprint_policy/?ref=mr [croydonguardian.co.uk]

It's now becoming quite popular to want to scan / photograph people before going into night clubs, corresponding in less people going to said clubs and bars.

What the bar owners do with this data nobody knows, but I'm sure they would not miss a trick in selling it or giving it to criminals who want this data.

Re:Where have you been? (5, Informative)

Pumpkin Tuna (1033058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078856)

I have never been to a bar that was so fabulous, so wonderful, that I would give up my fingerprints or even a scan of my license to get in. By the same token, I have never been in a bar or club that I would remotely trust with that information.

Re:Where have you been? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35079056)

I have never been to a bar that was so fabulous, so wonderful, that I would give up my fingerprints or even a scan of my license to get in.

Same principle as cover charges: it's so great that it's absolutely packed, and you're hoping you meet someone and can point out that it's a lot less crowded at your place.

Re:Where have you been? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35079848)

"I have never been to a bar that was so fabulous, so wonderful, that I would give up my fingerprints or even a scan of my license to get in."

Me neither. But there have been fabulous Amsterdam Coffee-shops, where I gladly let them scan my ID.

Joke: Schneier, Ahmadinejad and Hawking walk into (1)

srussia (884021) | more than 3 years ago | (#35080186)

...an Australian pub--wait, actually they didn't but for different reasons.

Re:Where have you been? (2)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079420)

And at least the UK places are bound by Data Protection laws with regards the electronic data they collect - sounds like these Aussie pubs aren't.

But then, I echo the sentiment - you want my biometric to do X? Won't be doing X then.

My daughter's nursery wanted my fingerprint in order to ensure that whoever comes to collect her is me or my wife. "What if we weren't available?" I pointed out, given that she's in childcare precisely because we both work all day. "Oh, then you could phone and give us permission to let someone else collect her"... "And then how would you know that the person on the phone was me?" Cue baffled looks, hasty assertions and bluffing to try to cover it.

They never got my fingerprint. And I can still collect her whenever I need to. And if I *can't* there will be merry hell to pay when it comes to collection time. Sorry, it's just a complete misapplication of biometrics, as is the fingerprint-based library system for primary school kids (which I refuse to implement or operate as a school IT manager).

The best way to lose custom is to make it more hassle to deal with you than to not. This applies whether it's not accepting certain (perfectly valid) payment methods, making people go through long-winded registration processes, or just otherwise being an arse about who can give you money and who can't. I'm all for permanently barring anyone who will cause you trouble - and you have to have a bouncer at the door to administer such a system anyway. If your bouncer can't manage the door, and keep out the troublemakers, he shouldn't be there.

Re:Where have you been? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35079724)

Fingerprinting for school libraries? Do books still have any value?

Re:Where have you been? (1)

xenobyte (446878) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079446)

We also have something similar in the works here in Denmark... A so-called "Hoodlum Register" where violent people are registered and banned from either football events (matches or public screening) or nightclubs. So far they're not linked (two separate systems) but I'm certain they will be linked fairly soon, especially because the same people tend to show up in both registers...

Personally I find it to be a great idea. People that don't know how to behave needs to be taught a lesson they won't forget. A ban for a year is an efficient wake-up-call... when all the mates go to a game or down to the pub to watch a match on the big screen, you're not welcome and will be thrown out if spotted.

If it were up to me, the ban should be extended to all public events or venues... No cinema, no restaurants, no amusement parks, no festivals... for a year or more. That will hurt just as it is supposed to. If it could be combined with a restraining type order with the police that will trigger harsher punishments for relevant offenses (violence, vandalism etc.) while on the ban - it would be perfect. Severe fines are a must too of course.

Re:Where have you been? (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079524)

True, but with databases these days, when does the info go off the DB? It isn't hard for a third party to get dumps from that database, and create a permanent record that can be used by businesses for extra security.

Yes, someone might be an asshole at a sporting event and deserve a year suspension from it... but the way data is stored forever by third parties, that year can easily turn into a lifetime.

Re:Where have you been? (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 3 years ago | (#35080792)

Who administers the scheme?

I find it really worrying that in many places private entities are allowed to collude to punish people without going through the justice system. This applies whether it is bar security or the credit rating agencies. The larger those collusions get the more they get the power to ruin peoples lives.

IMO colluding to punish people should be banned just as we ban colluding to fix prices. Colluding to protect public safety should probablly be allowed but shuold be subject to a court based appeal mechanism.

Re:Where have you been? (1)

darnkitten (1533263) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081160)

...If it were up to me, the ban should be extended to all public events or venues... No cinema, no restaurants, no amusement parks, no festivals... for a year or more. That will hurt just as it is supposed to. If it could be combined with a restraining type order with the police that will trigger harsher punishments for relevant offenses (violence, vandalism etc.) while on the ban - it would be perfect. Severe fines are a must too of course.

I would like to see a study that tracks the outside effects of such a program. For instance, does it actually cause the banned patron to change his ways; or does he simply take the violence and misbehavior elsewhere? I would be concerned about a possible increase, in both frequency and intensity, of domestic violence among the banned, as their social circles are limited.

Re:Where have you been? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35080428)

"It's now becoming quite popular to want to scan / photograph people before going into night clubs, "

Reminds me the last 2 times I had doctor appointments, at different offices. Went in, they asked for photo id to verify I was who I was (this never happened before in the past 30 years I've been to the same doctor and office). So I say fine, I show them my ID, they put their hand out so they can look at it closer, so I give it to them. Proceed to sign in, and the next thing I notice the woman scanning my ID into a business card reader.

I ask for my ID back, and for them to remove the scan, which they supposedly did. I ask why they do that, and they say it's to
"protect" me and to verify me if I come in again. I think for a second, and I say, "The next time I'm in, you'll probably ask for ID again anyways, right?" Get a nod. "So what's the point of the scan again?"

Between a scanned driver's license (common ID), and Social Security Numbers used for patient accounts, that's a lot of shit you can pull up on someone.

Re:Where have you been? (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 3 years ago | (#35080548)

Happened here in Canada as well with a program called BarWatch.

It was, interestingly enough, quite successful that bars in the surrounding areas started picking it up (and the privacy commissioner had to be involved). It was started by a small group of bars in downtown Vancouver and spread out.

Turns out all the seedier characters simply left for bars not in the program, and those in the program saw their business improve as people who were too scared to enter said bars (due to said characters) started coming in droves and improving business.

There's still a few not in the program (it's not mandatory and a bar can choose if they want it or not) - probably making a good buck because they can charge those who can't get into the other bars a nice cover charge and having higher prices.

Don't know about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35078900)

I don't know anyone who is queuing to sign up for this, this is propaganda, most people i know oppose this.

Re:Don't know about this (0)

Stooshie (993666) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079204)

Yes, but your mum and your Auntie Beatrice are not a good enough cross section of society for you to be able to make the conclusion that most of the rest of the world oppose it!

What are jails for? (3, Insightful)

GottMitUns (1012191) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078912)

Maybe those particularly violent should be in jail?

Re:What are jails for? (1)

nulldaemon (926551) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079068)

Maybe those particularly violent should be in jail?

That may be possible now that we know who they are. I'm concerned about my privacy as well but head out to Hindley St, Adelaide on a Saturday night and you'll start to see why these measures are necessary. Too many people walk around looking for a fight, too many bloody assaults and too many people getting away with it. Having said all that I do think taking your fingerprints is going a little too far; Let's just limit it to scanning patrons' drivers licenses.

Re:What are jails for? (2)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 3 years ago | (#35080632)

Maybe if you had random law abiding citizens out having a good time that may or may not be armed with a concealed handgun some of those problems would "Go Away"?

Re:What are jails for? (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079110)

For some reason Australia seems to have a problem with this. The clearest example of this is the biker gangs (one of the groups causing trouble at the night spots). Despite the fact that it is already illegal to be a member of an outlaw gang, and despite the fact that they freely ride around wearing the jackets proclaiming that they are members of said gangs, the police claim that they are powerless to stop them.

Re:What are jails for? (1)

Flipstylee (1932884) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079464)

nah, jails around my way are for turning civil disobediants (ha) INTO the particularly violent

Re:What are jails for? (0)

(Score.5, Interestin (865513) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079634)

Maybe those particularly violent should be in jail?

As everyone knows Australia is populated entirely by criminals, so clearly we must put them all in jail.

Truly your intellect is astonishing.

Wait til I get started! Now, where was I?

Re:What are jails for? (2)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079756)

How is that Insightful?

People eventually get OUT of jail, and "paying your debt to society" has NOTHING to do with "changing your behavior".

Idealistic bullshit is SO CUTE when it's spouted by folks who never ran a bar. Don't like the rules? Get the fuck out.
That's why so many bars are private clubs. Exclusivity is good.

Re:What are jails for? (1)

MBC1977 (978793) | more than 3 years ago | (#35080916)

Possibly, but one can be violent without committing a crime; unless you are saying just being violent is a crime.

This could be a good thing if done properly (2)

timbo234 (833667) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079002)

Anyone who's lived in Australia recently will now about the increasingly restrictive and puritanical direction our alcohol and pub/club licensing laws are going in. The usual reason brought up is the violence, which anecdotally and in my own experience is much worse than in similar places in Europe. However alcohol is seen as the cause of it all so law-abiding people get stung with sky-high alcohol prices (highest in the world outside the Nordic countries) and really restrictive door entry policies and closing hours.

If they setup some proper exclusion scheme to exclude violent people, with proper judicial oversight and judicial right of appeal - perhaps with tribunals similar to the industrial relations ones, we could stop the majority of the violence and do away with the puritanism.

Re:This could be a good thing if done properly (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35079430)

Agreed. Simply not frequenting bars/clubs that scan ID etc isnt even an option anymore.... atleast in Perth, they all pretty much do it. Considering the types of characters that own night clubs, its quite a scary situation we're being forced into... but it seems this is the future for most western society.

Ha, Australia sucks (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35079422)

Seriously, it's like South Carolina and Jersey Shore had a baby.

Typical. (1)

MrNemesis (587188) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079458)

Now I have to sever limbs and pluck out eyes before I get to the pub! This is going to ruin my evenings.

Hats off! (2)

sherpajohn (113531) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079460)

I was told that I could not enter a pub in Worcester this spring as I was wearing a Tilly Hat. "Dress code" I asked? "No, we just need to be sure the CCTV gets good images of your face in case anything bad happens". This was not even a club per se, though they did have a DJ, there was no dance floor. I have heard there's live music club in Worcester that requires photos, but have not been there yet. I am not one of the - "if you have nothing to hide, why ask for privacy" lot, but on the other hand, if its a requirement of a venue, I'll follow it if I really want to be there.

Think about it from an owner's perspective. (0)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079690)

If there is someone that waltzes into your bar, and then 30 minutes later is causing trouble and destroying your property, wouldn't it have been great to know he does the same thing at a new bar every night so you could have refused him service?

Re:Think about it from an owner's perspective. (2)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079804)

Isn't that what jails are for?

Take some guy who decides to go for a brawl in the US. There are a number of felony assault, assault and battery, malicious destruction, and criminal trespass charges that can be filed. If he fights back against the police, that would give more felonies. So, in theory, a brawler might be facing 20+ years if the judge decided to drop the hammer and have sentences serve consecutively.

This is why for the most part, brawls in the US are pretty rare.

I'm an Australian (1)

Mr_Plattz (1589701) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079790)

Dear Ms. Julia Gillard,

As a 20-something tax paying adult I feel this is a topic that needs to be resolved as soon as possible. I am not against bometric or ID scanning, however I am extremely against zero policies being implemented to address this. We must implement the following policies to resolve this:

  1. Do not allow any club/pub/anything to automatically perform these scans without prior consent
  2. Enforce real and strong penalties for pubs/clubs who do not store, protect and secure this information.

Only a few months ago, Vodafone released public information of it's customers. Vodafone is a tech savvy company., I can only imagine how bad the computer information security policies in-place within these clubs/pubs.

I have had my ID scanned in the past at a nightclubs. You line up, the bouncer looks at your ID and immediately (and unethically, if that exists in the bouncer world) passes it to another person who scans it. If you blink, you wouldn't even have realised it. The only thing worse than this is the fact that now my information is "somewhere" in the underground scene in Australia and I have no way of finding out who owns it or how I can have it purged.

Sadly our Minister for Privacy and Freedom of Information (Brendan O'Connor) doesn't understand the fundamentals of Information Security.

Please fix this as soon as possible.

Re:I'm an Australian (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35080086)

Do not allow any club/pub/anything to automatically perform these scans without prior consent

They would need consent as-is anyway, check out the Australian National Privacy Principles.

Re:I'm an Australian (1)

BatGnat (1568391) | more than 3 years ago | (#35082014)

Sadly our Minister for Privacy and Freedom of Information (Brendan O'Connor) doesn't understand the fundamentals of Information Security.

Since when has any of our Aussie politicians know anything about what their portfolio covers...

So much for Wired's prediction (1)

RevWaldo (1186281) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079858)

In the real future, this guy wouldn't even make it past the front door.

http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/09/found_divebars/ [wired.com]

(Ah well. They were wrong about CueCat too. And Apple. And push. And...)

.

OK - I know this headline sounds bad (1)

tkdog (889567) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079926)

Let's remember this is *Australia* so some points to consider 1) It is a penal colony. If these people weren't guilty, their ancestors wouldn't have been sent there; 2) Australia happens to be the richest sources of vital biometrics available - we have to mine it somewhere people; 3) Have you ever been to a bar with an Australian?

Re:OK - I know this headline sounds bad (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#35080104)

4. they hang upside down from the globe by their feet like bats, who cares what batty people do. 5. they talk funny

Re:OK - I know this headline sounds bad (1)

Omestes (471991) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081100)

3) Have you ever been to a bar with an Australian?

Yes, and it wasn't a terribly unpleasant experience. First off he drank around 5 Irish Car Bombs, then noticed a rugby match was on the television and suddenly turned autistic outside of a couple strange yelps. I think the closest to violence he got was when someone brought up "Crocodile Dundee" or "shrimps on barbies"...

A minor technical detail... (1)

XDirtypunkX (1290358) | more than 3 years ago | (#35080388)

The systems in question don't actually store your fingerprint, they store a hash (that should be relatively hard to reverse) based on some finger print information.

= all bars going bust. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35080418)

Every Auz film I've ever seen has had a big fight scene in a bar. "Crocodile Dundee", "Australia", "Mad Max", "Priscilla Queen of the Desert" ... ah sorry, apparently Priscilla had a fight scene in a BRA.

Good with the Bad (1)

DarthVain (724186) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081232)

I have had a number of bar owners and bouncers as friends in the past, and in one sense it is a good idea.

I know where I am in Canada a lot of bar owners tried to band together to try and curb violence. There is a subset of people who basically like to go to the bar, get drunk and get in a fight. The idea was if you get banned from one bar you get banned from all participating bars, in this way it keeps these people out, and also perhaps acts as a deterrent. The problem was with the implementation. The only way to do it was to have a "picture book" at the entrance for bouncers to look at. However particularly on busy nights, bouncers don't have the luxury of leafing through a book of photos for each patron that wants in, and as a result the experiment was a failure.

At least this way, a bouncer could easily identify you and your "infractions" and based on that decide or have it flagged that you are allowed in or not. So ideally it is good as it keeps the bad apples out from wreaking everyone Else's fun, not to mention driving up costs for everyone.

The bad and the ugly would be that yes, bar owners with a grudge could simply be jerks and abuse the system. With no appeal process, this would be very unfair.

That all said, I seriously doubt this kind of system would be mandatory, and you as a consumer can choose to support one or the other. Of course this might also breed the fight club VS non fight club type situation. Want to get into fistycuffs go to Larry's, want to have a safe time go to Bob's.

Anyway I am not sure of the whole idea, but I think in an ideal world were owners aren't douchebags and are purely driven by profit (i.e. they want to let in as many people as possible) it might work.

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