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Drivers License Swipes Raise Privacy Concerns

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the step-away-from-the-card-reader dept.

313

Clubs in New York, New Jersey, and elsewhere are requiring patrons to give up their drivers licenses for a swipe through a card reader. Some bars do this too. The card reader displays their birth date and the establishments let it be assumed that the only purpose of the swipe is to check the customer's age. They rarely if ever disclose that the personal data stored on the license — the customer's name, address, license number, perhaps even height, weight, and eye color — go into a database and are retained, perhaps indefinitely. While a federal law forbids selling or sharing data from drivers licenses, there is no prohibition against collecting it. A few states have enacted such prohibitions — New Hampshire, Texas, and Nebraska. Privacy advocates warn that such personal data, once in a database, is bound to be misused. From the article: "'I don't see no problem,' said [a club-goer], 22. 'That happens every day on the Internet. Any hacker can get the information anyway.' [A Web media executive] said such reactions aren't surprising from a generation accustomed to sharing personal information on Web sites such as Facebook.com and Myspace.com. 'The kids don't care,' [he] said, 'because only old people like you and me suffer from the illusion of privacy these days.'"

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It's true (4, Funny)

kamapuaa (555446) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946218)

Good quote, it's funny because it's true. My myspace pages (and I have like 7 or 8 of them) all list my name, address, license number, height, weight, and eye color. I don't understand old people not listing their license on their myspace pages. How are you supposed to know if it's really them?

Re:It's true (1)

hotcakes.co.nz (874015) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946314)

yes exactly the world seems to be just coming more like the web where it doesn't matter what information people have or know about us. I mean really the government already knows about us already most things, so whats one more person or group of people going to matter. cheers, Ben http://www.webexperts.co.nz [webexperts.co.nz]

It shouldn't matter. (4, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946344)

How are you supposed to know if it's really them?

Why do you care?

Really -- why does it matter? Unless you're planning on using MySpace as a dating service, which is a bad idea for any number of reasons, I don't see why it matters who the actual meatspace person that's behind a particular online avatar matters. It's like asking whether the clerk at the Dunkin Donuts counter is a transsexual, or dyes their hair: maybe they do, maybe they don't. Does it really matter? Is the knowledge really necessary in order to interact with them? Clearly not.

I think there is a bit of an obsession with trying to link online identities to real people; we need to realize that the disconnect between avatars and natural people is both intentional and desired. Who cares whether the controlling entity is male or female, or some particularly well-engineered piece of software -- it doesn't matter.

Re:It shouldn't matter. (5, Funny)

BootNinja (743040) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946472)

You know that sound you're hearing? That's the sound of sarcasm doing a flyby on your head.

Re:It shouldn't matter. (3, Funny)

kamapuaa (555446) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946496)

How are you supposed to know if it's really them?


Why do you care?

No offense - we've never met, after all, and I haven't even seen your myspace page - but that's really dense. I need to know their license numbers because when I'm away for the weekend I leave my keys in the car, I often let other myspace members it if they need to make a quick drive, to get groceries or whatever.

Re:It shouldn't matter. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16946656)

bwhat???

The original url (2, Informative)

hotcakes.co.nz (874015) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946432)

http://www.nj.com/search/index.ssf?/base/news-10/1 164091705151690.xml?starledger?ntop&coll=1 [nj.com] \ The other one automtaically prints from the browser which can be annoying for some users, especially those without a printer or a slow machine.

cheers,

ben
http://www.webexperts.co.nz [webexperts.co.nz]

It's settled then (5, Insightful)

nametaken (610866) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946226)


I guess if the 22 year old "club-goer" who can barely speak English isn't worried, I shouldn't be either.

I guess it's a good thing... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16946236)

That I'm under 21 and use a fake id!

Pretty big generalisation (2, Insightful)

frup (998325) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946248)

I'm 20 and I care!

no problem (5, Insightful)

scottp (129048) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946250)

"I don't see no problem,' said [a club-goer], 22. 'That happens every day on the Internet."

Were you drunk at the time? What kind of places do you visit on the net to give this information out every day?

The amount of private info required is WAAY out of control. And the people asking for it are WAAY out of line. I heard that reality shows were very bad, so I looked up a sign up sheet Deal or No Deal (think that was it). It was unbelieveable how much info they wanted to just choose stupid suitcases.

Re:no problem (4, Interesting)

Heir Of The Mess (939658) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946454)

I get e-mails from my bank every day that have a link to a web site that requests all of this information. Maybe she was talking about that?

Seriously though, the internet/world is so full of whack jobs that I wonder about the wisdom of linking to my blog site from slashdot. I'm fully expecting to get punched in the face outside my home one day for posting flamebait about Linux on slashdot (I get bored sometimes).

Magazine articles can be a hazard, I heard of a guy that was working on a government project that got an article about his work published in a Magazine, including a picture of him with his name. Weeks later he got a snail mail at work. In it was a picture of his family walking out the front door of his home with gun sights drawn around their heads, and on the back was a note telling him to stop working on the project.

The other day I was reading about this guy who loves facebook. Apparently when he sees an attractive woman talking he listens in to find out her first name, and then looks for her on facebook. He then tracks her life as much as he can, and if she goes through a break up or something he will try to get in a situation to meet her. I wonder if that will give others here ideas?

Re:no problem (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16946816)

I get e-mails from my bank every day that have a link to a web site that requests all of this information. Maybe she was talking about that?

I know what you're really talking about, but in all seriousness, I had a call from my bank at work today trying to sell me credit. Except, I never got around to telling my bank my current employer, nor is my direct dial number listed. When I tried to find out how they had got hold of me, I got waffled at, and finally told they would pass my concerns on to a manager. And I did ask enough questions to be sure that it was either the bank I have an account with, or someone who had pretty much ripped off the banks entire DB entry on me.

The information is being linked up at a frightening rate. I'm not surprised people have no expectation of privacy, when complete strangers can tell you all sorts of details about yourself.

Re:Phone company is just as bad (2, Interesting)

symbolic (11752) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946886)


I received a call from our local ILEC trying to sell me a better deal than I currently had. It sounded ok, so I decided I'd go for it - until the rep told me that he had to connect me with a third-party verification service. He said they would only ask about three fairly general questions, and that would be it. As soon as they asked for my birthday, I terminated the call.

Also, people should know that companies selling card readers often list, as a *feature* the ability to capture information and use it later - for mailing lists, sale to other businesses, whatever. It's probably safe to *assume* that anyone swiping your license will retain and use the information long after your visit.

Re:no problem (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16946722)

What kind of places do you visit on the net to give this information out every day?

I frequently give out my address when websites ask for it. Well, actually I give a fake address in a different country, earn at least $5000000 per year, and happen to be at least 90.

Re:no problem (2, Funny)

Bloke down the pub (861787) | more than 7 years ago | (#16947002)

Well, actually I give a fake address in a different country, earn at least $5000000 per year
Greetings friend!

Do you need any assistance in getting that money out of the country?

I can put you in touch with some people who specialise in that kind of thing. I just ask for a small commission, payable in advance.

Re:no problem (2, Interesting)

slarrg (931336) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946796)

The amount of private info required is WAAY out of control.

Exactly! First the state requires me to have an ID to drive a car then they print my Social Security Number and birthdate on the ID. With these two numbers anyone can mail off a fake a credit card application and get a card in my name. Then to top it all off, I'm expected to show this information to everyone from employers, any police officer, any security person, shop clerks who need to verify I'm really me, and even the bouncers at the local pub. This is insane!

Shock and Awe! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16946256)

They rarely if ever disclose that the personal data stored on the license -- the customer's name, address, license number, perhaps even height, weight, and eye color -- go into a database and are retained, perhaps indefinitely.
Bum bum buuuuuum!

happened here in AU for a while (4, Insightful)

walshy007 (906710) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946258)

in gilhoolies strathpine (brisbane, australia) a couple nights they've required all who enter to surrender their licenses to be put through a machine and to be photographed, the overwhelming majority don't care because if they don't do it they won't be let in.

when it comes down to it theres a choice of, hey, awesome night out at a pub, or go home because of a violation of privacy. I don't see many young people choosing the latter.

I just assumed most pubs were all going down this route, and that it was nothing new.

Re:happened here in AU for a while (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16946404)

Anyone who lives in a place called Gilhoolies should surrender unconditionally, including their licence, and just come along quitely.

But seriously folks, Brisbane's police state legacy reinforces the heebie-jeebies of any privacy related actions. /2c

Re:happened here in AU for a while (1)

name*censored* (884880) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946522)

Gilhoolies is the name of the PUB (bar) - not suburb/town. He's already said 3 place names (ie, suburb/city/country) so you'd imagine that Gilhoolies can only be the pubs name?

Re:happened here in AU for a while (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946918)

I think it was a joke - but serious about the police state legacy thing. The police commissioner really did find out the street value of drugs by selling them back to the street and a fair chunk of the government a while back ended up doing jail time - and there was even a calvary charge of mounted police with batons against protestors - it was like living in a bad movie and you didn't even want to identify yourself to the police.

Re:happened here in AU for a while (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16946408)

hey a fellow brisbaneite. Shouts out to all my niggers

Re:happened here in AU for a while (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946482)

They have done it in Pennsylvania a while too, like for at least 5 years. Slashdot is just a tad slow. Like half a decade slow....

Re:happened here in AU for a while (1)

dutin (890499) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946842)

Yeah, but nobody in Pittsburgh blogged about it back then.

Nice use of "perhaps" (1)

nmoog (701216) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946260)

Gives it that well-thought-out fell. Like a movie that ends with a question mark.

Easy fix (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16946262)

Don't take your license out with you, or if you are driving, don't show it when asked for ID.

Show your passport or another form of ID (military, etc.) which is recognized elsewhere (e.g., a liquor store).

Establishments which do have license mag-stripe readers will likely not have the equipment for machine-readable passports, but the passport will still provide age verification.

agreed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16946586)

I always show my military ID. It does have more info on it, but bars aren't set up to scan it.

Re:agreed (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16946734)

Any idea if it would even be legal for them to scan and store a military ID card?

Re:Easy fix (1)

hey (83763) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946856)

Er, I don't want to take my passport when I go to a pub and I have nothing to do with the military.

Re:Easy fix (2, Informative)

mr_matticus (928346) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946930)

Then use your driver's license and have your SSN omitted from the card. Any form of ID is a violation of privacy, but that, quite simply, is the point of ID. For clubs and bars, they need only determine your age, but to have a number of different levels of information on IDs is impractical.

It's a matter of convenience. Either have multiple IDs for different purposes, or have one ID that basically works with anything, at the slight risk of providing a bit of extra information about yourself.

Even Easier fix (1, Insightful)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946920)

Just never patronise an establishment that even requires you present ID in the first place. Stop buying controlled substances if you feel they aren't worth the cost to your dignity every time someone asks; "Your papers please". Stop subjecting yourself to searches and inspections by private security forces if you feel it isn't worth being treated like a criminal just to get into that place. Stop patronising places that ask for everything including your mother's second name for every petty transaction.

They don't care? They will... (4, Insightful)

kcbrown (7426) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946272)

"'I don't see no problem,' said [a club-goer], 22. 'That happens every day on the Internet. Any hacker can get the information anyway.' [A Web media executive] said such reactions aren't surprising from a generation accustomed to sharing personal information on Web sites such as Facebook.com and Myspace.com. 'The kids don't care,' [he] said, 'because only old people like you and me suffer from the illusion of privacy these days.'"

Yeah. Well, they won't care until that information is used against them, either via identity theft or something worse.

Of course, most people won't experience that, but the easier it is to "steal" or otherwise misuse someone's identity, the more often it'll happen, and that means more people will be affected by it. Not that most people will ever figure out the connection. Thanks to the sorry state of education in the U.S., precious few know how to think anymore.

And not that it matters anyway, even if they did figure it out. This is the United States, where corporations and those who run them rule all. The troubles of the lowly consumer underclass matter not at all here.

Re:They don't care? They will... (2, Funny)

Falladir (1026636) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946562)

precious few know how to think anymore

Was it ever that much better? There was no glorious golden age of intellectualism in America, when every boy and girl could generate Euclid's theorems and apply Newton's laws.

It's things like this... (2, Insightful)

Mard (614649) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946282)

that make me hate my generation. I'm going to have to spend the rest of my life saving their asses from this kind of neglect and apathy, and I can only hope that enough of them wake up to help me.

Re:It's things like this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16947030)

Wonder what would happen if they were left to fend for themselves? Would be fun to find out.

When mankind makes moving off-planet viable the resourceful have the option to no longer prop up the less resourceful. This would probably temper any aggressively socialistic notions states may have, lest they lose their most valuable citizens.

Did we really have privacy before? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16946286)

Every year I get sent a new list of the address and phone number of everybody in my city, listed by last name. Nobody ever considered that to be an invasion of privacy, but nowadays somebody trying to invent a phone book would probably never be able to do so.

Oddly, I just recently started wondering about why random people's license plates get blurred out on non-fiction TV shows. Who cares? If you already know the person's name, you can find out where they live. Knowing their license plate number doesn't give you much data that you didn't already know or couldn't look up anyway. And oftentimes the car is just in the background, and know its license plate doesn't tell you any information!

I suppose maybe the difference is that the data was always available, just not in a useful form. Now that cheap computers can quickly process large databases, maybe it's more of a problem.

dom

Re:Did we really have privacy before? (2, Informative)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946622)

I think the blurring of license plat numbers has more to do with financial and monetary rewards. You will sometimes see people's faces blurred in the same ways.

When a movie or show is made, they get a consent form filed by everyone in the scene. This happens before they can air the segment. Sometimes people refuse or they cannot be found. In this case, masking their identity is usually sufficient enough to stop that person from attempting to come back on the production. With cars, there might be hundreds of thousands of car similar but only the plate numbers tell them apart. Also some counties or jurisdictions have a process were you pay the county a set fee and they waive anyone who resides in that area's objections.

The consent basically says you agreed to let them use your image or something identifiable to you and won't come back on them later. Some people in the past have attempted to claim the success of a show was directly related to them walking or driving thru the background or interacting with someone in a particular manor therefore they are entitled to some compensation. I'm not sure if anyone has been successful at these suites or not but the consent or blocking the images seems to alleviate most of them.

But it isn't to stop from identifying the person as much as it is identifying them with the show/movie/program/whatever in order to head off any claims against the show.

Re:Did we really have privacy before? (1)

sweetooth (21075) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946642)

It's a combination of both. You won't find my name in the phone book. If I didn't give you my phone number I don't want you to call me. I don't want you to be able to go on the Internet or look in a book to get that information. I don't want you to be able to get it from a 411 service or any other information broker. Hell I don't want corporations to have access to that information unless I specifically give it to them. I think that in the past people weren't aware of the consequences of giving this information out and since corporations and various unethical persons have abused their information there's a growing group of people that don't want anyone to have their personal information unless absolutely necessary.

Then there's the majority who either don't care, or are simply incredibly poorly educated on the topic.

Re:Did we really have privacy before? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16946650)

All you actually get is a list of names (often just last names) and maybe addresses (often just cities) for people who chose not to be omitted from the phone book.

Re:Did we really have privacy before? (1)

hey (83763) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946870)

The phonebook just lists one name per phone number. Most people share a landline.

this doesnt hurt those of use using a fake license (4, Interesting)

macadamia_harold (947445) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946310)

They rarely if ever disclose that the personal data stored on the license -- the customer's name, address, license number, perhaps even height, weight, and eye color -- go into a database and are retained, perhaps indefinitely.

Seriously, there's no law against providing a replica license with garbage on the magnetic strip to clubs and bars if you're legal age, is there? After all, you're not misrepresenting your credentials, you're preventing identity theft.

Re:this doesnt hurt those of use using a fake lice (1)

KKlaus (1012919) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946348)

I'm not going to bother to check, because come on. Of course making a fraudulent license is illegal. Or maybe the law says that's fine as long as you don't lie about your age. Get real. Maybe there's no law against showing it to clubs (specifically), but there sure are laws against making it in the first place.

Re:this doesnt hurt those of use using a fake lice (2, Interesting)

macadamia_harold (947445) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946424)

Maybe there's no law against showing it to clubs (specifically), but there sure are laws against making it in the first place.

Then just bombard your real license with some high-power magnetic fields and you're all set. There's no law that says you can't erase the fucker.

Re:this doesnt hurt those of use using a fake lice (1)

KKlaus (1012919) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946962)

Ok.... but then it won't scan properly. Swipe a damn piece of cardboard instead if all you want is for it to not display your age.

Re:this doesnt hurt those of use using a fake lice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16946362)

A couple of big magnets would probably solve the magnetic strip "problem", and without doing anything illegal.

If you don't like, don't patronize such joints (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Crowhead (577505) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946322)

It's just that simple, people.

Not just the bars (5, Interesting)

karmatic (776420) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946332)

This isn't just the case at bars and clubs.

About a week ago, I went to purchase Elder Scrolls: Oblivion. Because I look under 40, they wouldn't let me buy the game without ID. Fair enough, I pull out my student ID, and offer it.

I was informed that not only would it require offering government-issued photo ID, but it would be necessary to extract all of the information off of it, rather than just enter my age/dob. I refused, and escalated the issue to a manager, who refused to override, and informed the cashier she would be fired on the spot if she hit the "looks over 40" button.

Of course, the manager was unable to provide me with all the information on _her_ license (it's private), but couldn't see why I wouldn't want to provide my name, address, social security number (I got my license before they switched to a numeric system), race, and (potential) disabilities to target, just to buy a video game.

Walking over to Wal-Mart, I paid cash. The computer asked them to check (not swipe) ID. Cashier saw I was "old enough", hit OK, and I was on my merry way. I found this rather odd, given how "RFID Gung Ho" they seem. Perhaps it's about ruthless efficiency, rather than a need to track people. Or, maybe it's the fact that half the people seem to be illegal immigrants who shop at my local Wal-Mart.

Re:Not just the bars (4, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946382)

Walking over to Wal-Mart, I paid cash. The computer asked them to check (not swipe) ID. Cashier saw I was "old enough", hit OK, and I was on my merry way.

And therein, folks, lies the beauty of the free market.

The market giveth, the market taketh away (3, Insightful)

Geof (153857) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946998)

And therein, folks, lies the beauty of the free market.

Indeed it does: the market offered a choice. Not, in all likelihood, because of the invisible hand of competition, but simply because Wal-Mart has not chosen to use monetize (nasty word) customer information like that.

On the other hand, the profit motive is probably what encouraged the other shop to insist on the information in the first place. This story seems to have captured the ugliness of the market right along with its beauty.

Re:Not just the bars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16946416)

That's just stupid - comparing a supply chain management system (RFID) with the storing of all your personal data. I was with you until that point; try comparing apples to apples and you'll get more buy-in.

Bummer (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946436)

Because I look under 40, they wouldn't let me buy the game without ID.

Aren't you allowed to have sex or buy alcohol if you are under 40 where you live?

Re:Bummer (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16946478)

Aren't you allowed to have sex or buy alcohol if you are under 40 where you live?


No.

He lives at his parents' house.

Re:Bummer (2, Interesting)

Lost Engineer (459920) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946598)

I don't know if that was a joke... but I'll bite. Ever since certain states passed laws that say that you must card everyone who looks under 27, 30, 35, or whatever, stores have tried to one up them. It's easier to implement a consistent, if ridiculous, policy than to trust your underlings to correctly judge age.

The reason he should be able to get away with it wrt video games is that there is no legal authority going around busting stores for selling games to underage games, unlike say alcohol or tobacco-containing products.

As a sidenote, I was turned down by a local grocery store the other day because my license had a hole in it, while I was waiting for a new one to come in the mail. The clerk explained: you need a valid photo ID. I explained that the ID was still valid and unexpired despite bureau-jerks at the DMV putting a hole in it and that I had a paper temporary, but that didn't hold water in her mind. I haven't bought beer there since.

Re:Bummer (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946766)

I don't know if that was a joke... but I'll bite.

I honestly thought the GP hit 4 where he intended to hit 2. Just having a joke at his expense.

Ever since certain states passed laws that say that you must card everyone who looks under 27, 30, 35, or whatever, stores have tried to one up them. It's easier to implement a consistent, if ridiculous, policy than to trust your underlings to correctly judge age.

Thats mad. The other week I bought a new pair of shoes. The girl at the checkout had to fill in some demographic data on the POS terminal. She typed my age as 38 which was two years too low. Maybe a boy selling software would be off a lot more but he is going to know the difference between 15 and 25.

Apart from applying for my drivers license and passport I have never once been asked for proof of age. I never went to night clubs but I did go out to a strip joint on my 18th birthday (a couple of hours after it became legal for me) and I didn't get asked.

Some Americans I know who live here in Australia told me that a lot of playgrounds have been closed in the USA because of liability issues. I hope that the threat of legal action doesn't make things worse here.

Re:Bummer (1)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 7 years ago | (#16947064)

The other week I bought a new pair of shoes. The girl at the checkout had to fill in some demographic data on the POS terminal. She typed my age as 38 which was two years too low. Maybe a boy selling software would be off a lot more but he is going to know the difference between 15 and 25.

and therein lies the problem... wtf do they need it for.. and why the heck did you give it to them...

any checkout clerk that asks for my demographic details gets rubbish given to them... I flat out refuse to give them my name, address, telephone number post code or whatever else they ask for as they have no need for it in order to make the sale... if their POS till gets upset, I give them daft things to get past the stupid error messages. If they claim it's for the guarantee, then I tell them the receipt is good enough. If they still get upset, then I tell them "NO SALE" and walk out leaving everything there on the counter (making sure I've got my money back and any credit card sale rescinded)

I normally only use loyalty cards that don't require a real address for the benefits... I give false addresses for those... My Matalan card has Mickey Mouse, Florida as the address

Tesco think I'm a 120 year old female... (I love screwing up datasets with garbage)

over 40 to buy a computer game without being challenged??? fsking stupid... 21 yes, 40 daft

anyway, getting back on topic, the problem with this data being gathered by the bars is that it's only a short step to the Police (and other authorities) harvesting it to track suspects, check alibis, checking your drinking habits, working out who you associate with (by agglomerating your visits with whoever else is in the bar). Of course they'll work out some way to justify it as preventing terrorism...

Re:Bummer (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 7 years ago | (#16947286)

and therein lies the problem... wtf do they need it for.. and why the heck did you give it to them...

Just to be clear: They didn't ask. I just kept an eye on the POS screen from one side. Watching other peoples screens and keyboards is probably a bad habit from working in IT. My point is that most people can judge age without having to ask for proof, especially when its the difference between (18|21) and 40.

Re:Bummer (1)

ag0ny (59629) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946770)

Excuse me, but I'm not sure I understand what you wrote. You need to show your ID when shopping at a grocery store? Why?

Re:Bummer (1)

Nightspirit (846159) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946812)

alcohol most likely

Not in Texas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16946992)

Texas enacted a law that forbids reading of Driver license information except by Law enforcement officers and to verify drinking age.

Only idiots don't care... (4, Insightful)

ScooterComputer (10306) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946336)

I have already seen reports of using such data to "track" drinkers and their habits. People SHOULD care. MADD and their prohibitionist agenda has already advanced the violating of civil rights to a new high as it is, by wrapping drunk driving in the fabric of a social disease; anyone think they won't take it straight into the realm of "preventative therapy" using this information? The war on drugs/alcohol/alternative lifestyles needs to be outed for what it is: an evangelical war on sin. And its front continues to charge into the mainstream of American living, lead by religious bleeding hearts and hypocritical 60's-era hippy soccer moms.

I genuinely feel bad for the coming generations of Americans and the pseudo-fascist oppression under which they will be burdened in the name of "for the children". No matter my age, I will fully support and understand their inevitable backlash.

Veering slightly off topic... (2, Insightful)

lisaparratt (752068) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946808)

Sorry, but I live the lifestyle, and even I think intoxicated driving is fucking stupid. It's not for the children, it's common sense. Even at ones most selfish, it's still retarded - if you get pigged, or worse, end up killing somebody, then that's going to put the kaibosh on living that lifestyle. Self preservation, people, self preservation - does a cab home really cost that much?

Mating instinct vs privacy concerns... (4, Funny)

Bamafan77 (565893) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946340)

Aaah, evolution makes life so simple at times. In my younger days (I'm a ripe old 29 now), if a blood sample would bump me to the front of the line at a hot club in LA, I'd have gladly given it up. Thank goodness, I've matured since then. . . . . hehe, just kidding. I'd still cough up the blood sample. :)

Re:Mating instinct vs privacy concerns... (4, Interesting)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946402)

In my younger days (I'm a ripe old 29 now), if a blood sample would bump me to the front of the line at a hot club in LA, I'd have gladly given it up.

GAH! I've never understood this attitude. In San Francisco, we don't really have this "hot club" phenomenon. They're trying to pull it off in the North Beach neighborhood, but that pretty much draws exclusively bridge-and-tunnel clientèle. With so many things to do and so many places to go in this city, most locals can't imagine what could possibly make it worth waiting in line to get into a club. Any club! And then I hear these stories about being made to wait by some beefcake bouncer, only to be allowed entry half an hour later and ... find out the club is pretty much empty. What gives? Why do you people keep going back to these places? What could possibly be in there that makes it worth it? I know it's not the music. And don't say "pussy," because in my experience any major metropolitan area is pretty much choked with good-looking women, wherever you go.

Re:Mating instinct vs privacy concerns... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16946468)

Uh, I guess you've never tried to go to Ruby Skye in SF. Line out the door and around the block.

Re:Mating instinct vs privacy concerns... (2, Funny)

name*censored* (884880) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946592)

What gives? Why do you people keep going back to these places? What could possibly be in there that makes it worth it?
Hey I think I know what club you're talking about - I see lines outside it all the time (I think there's a chain of them)! It is called a "toilet"? I've never seen what's so good about them, there are so many places to go in this city

Re:Mating instinct vs privacy concerns... (4, Funny)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946410)

In other words, you'd give up a blood sample now for a small chance at the opportunity to give up a semen sample later?

Re:Mating instinct vs privacy concerns... (1)

Lissajous (989738) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946776)

I'd still cough up the blood sample. :)

Hey - if you're coughing up blood, you want to get yourself to the hospital rather than a hot LA club. :)

Why not? (1)

hotcakes.co.nz (874015) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946354)

Its interesting because everything that makes up our identity these days is so based around our job, drivers licence, age, shape etc etc. I wonder how other cultures outside the western world would treat this? Would you want someone taking your identity away from you? Maybe we need to back to basics and just live more simply perhaps? cheers, Ben http://www.webexperts.co.nz [webexperts.co.nz]

The kid's right (5, Insightful)

lewp (95638) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946386)

'The kids don't care,' [he] said, 'because only old people like you and me suffer from the illusion of privacy these days.'

Sadly, this is probably the best attitude to have. With our current models for establishing identity, and our current systems for storing and protecting personal data, the truth is if your information is stored anywhere it might as well be plastered on a billboard. Someone's going to get ahold of it somehow, and it's going to be copied, and copied, and copied until it's everywhere. There's no sign of this changing. Even dramatic advances in things like encryption only close one of the many doors to your data, and as long as a single human has access to that data somehow, it's going to get up and walk away someday, and it will live in the wild forever. Ultimately, if you want to keep this information out of anybody's hands, you need to keep it out of everybody's hands. This just isn't feasible if you don't want to go completely "off the grid" and move into a fallout shelter in Montana (or just find a 3rd world country and disappear). Think how many times you prove your identity to some service (both meatspace and online, they're pretty much the same as far as propagating your data is concerned) in a given day.

If you want to live in a society that has access to the vast databases of knowledge and instant communication ours does, ultimately you need to come to grips with the fact that there's going to be a lot of data about you in those databases, and that this data is going to spread like wildfire. Maybe that means learning to live with no secrets, and people getting comfortable with knowing each others' intimate details rather than just their public facades. Kids seem to be going in this direction already, sharing anything and everything with "friends" they've never met, just because they added them to a list on a website and got a couple pictures in return.

Or maybe we need to completely rethink the concept of identity from the ground up, both online and off, if people truly do value their privacy. We're probably going to have to do it sooner or later due to other technological advances anyway, as is illustrated in so many science fiction books and movies. If we don't kill each other first :)

I suppose it's either one of these choices, or we just smash the grid and go back to banging rocks together :P

Re:The kid's right (4, Interesting)

Sylver Dragon (445237) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946830)

Stalin called, he wants his wet dream back.
Seriously, the idea that you you can be tracked any place any time and all of your thoughts and beliefs are open and exposed for scrutiny is a horrible idea. All its going to take is a few nutcases to pick out a group and persecute the hell out of them. Think the religious-right folks are tough on gays now, wait until they know how to find every single one. Might as well line 'em up and tattoo them for easy identification and "treatment".
I have a better idea, how about we make any company which collects personal information financially and criminally responsible for protecting that data. Say, if for every person's data you lose, misplace, have stolen or sell (no pre-canned allow it to be shared contracts, you can only get it for internal use), your company must pay 1% of the previous year's reported gross profits; and, all of the board members get a year in jail (no time off for good behavior). I'll bet you that after the first two or three occurrences every company will either put a huge amount of protection around that data, or just stop keeping it. A win either way.
Privacy is an important component to the Right to Liberty. In order to be able to have unpopular ideas it is sometimes necessary to be able to hide those ideas from general scrutiny. Without privacy everyone will either accept the popular opinion (popular being defined by the people with the guns) or they will simply disappear.

Important distinction (2, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946440)

While a federal law forbids selling or sharing data from drivers licenses, there is no prohibition against collecting it.

Perhaps that should read, "while a federal law forbids selling or sharing data from drivers licenses for the time being..."

what federal law??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16946644)

No there's not. A lot of states will sell a lot of your info, and a ton of it is free for the looking. If it has changed, do you have the federal law citation? Last I knew skip tracers and private detectives were far from being out of business, and government records are one of the primary areas they search in.

Southeast Wisconsin (1)

poormanjoe (889634) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946448)

Between Milwaukee and Chicago, I went to a club in Kenosha where they took a digital photo of my drivers license. I figured it was for saftey measures, if someone was to fight or branish a handgun, the police would have something to start with. Not all places do this, I think this specific hotspot just does so because it is so popular. I would rather be safe and risk the extreamly low probability of club management stealing my identy. What does the club need to steal your identity for when they charge $7 for an ounce of 80 proof alcohol?

You would also be suprised how many people won't accept military ID's of valid forms of identification. I've been asked on several occasions if I had a drivers license instead. I purposly use it to decide if they get my hard earned money. I know I went off-topic a little, but it's bullshit. I don't care if some punk ass bouncer never has seen one before, it says right there in big bold letters *DEPPARTMENT OF THE ARMY*UNITED STATES OF AMMERICA*

Re:Southeast Wisconsin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16946508)

Well there's your problem! There's a typo on your ID. Two Ms in America? You should get a replacement ASAP.

Re:Southeast Wisconsin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16946556)

Who said the club was looking to steal your identity? Maybe they only want to bombard you with advertisements in the future. Maybe the government is looking for a new way to demolish privacy in the name of public order. Perhaps, a crooked bar employee or IT contractor will illegally sell the data to marketers/identity thieves/spammmers/etc.

The most basic principles of security state that only a minimum of information should ever be stored or transmitted in order to achieve the desired result. In the case of a bar, ID used to verify age, and that is all. Other information is of absolutely zero consequence (after all, they aren't looking to keep only people of a specific name or residency sober) from the time of the transaction onward.

When they rejected your military ID, and indicated a preference for a driver's license, they exposed their motives as extending beyond simple age verification. Military IDs are prevalent enough that any clerk selling age-restricted products should be familiar with them, and the procedure for using them to verify age.

People these days are essentially stupid, and have no idea that functionality creep even exists, let alone what it is, which is why these laws are even allowed to exist.

I have a simple approach to handling ID. My driver's license stays with my vehicle registration and proof of insurance in my car's glovebox. My passport stays in my safe unless I am flying, out of the country, or making a rare trip to the bank. The SCOTUS has ruled that laws mandating the carrying of ID are unconstitutional, and socially enginnering age-restricted products and services is quite easy (even more so than procuring fake ID)

If you're smart, then you'll realize that ID is NOT for your benefit in the vast majority of situations, but rather, for the benefit of third parties who generally have zero concern for your convenience or privacy.

Re:Southeast Wisconsin (1)

BoberFett (127537) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946584)

Out of curiosity, do you have a cite from said USSC opinion? I was involved recently in a discussion regarding how and when you are required to provide ID for the police. An opinion stating that ID couldn't be mandated would go a long way toward saying police don't have the right to ask you for your "papers".

Re:Southeast Wisconsin (2, Funny)

cakefool (801210) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946800)

*DEPPARTMENT OF THE ARMY*UNITED STATES OF AMMERICA*

Strangely, I would feel no confidence in the accuracy of this ID. Wonder why...

Re: Actually, Military ID is not a full valid ID.. (1)

kullnd (760403) | more than 7 years ago | (#16947374)

FYI, alot of the clubs and bars will not accept your Military ID because ever since they changed them to the new format they are no longer a FULL ID. In order to be a full valid ID for identification purposes there must be more than a name and picture, it must also include your height / weight / eye color / blah blah blah... The old military IDs had all that information, the new ones dont...

However that doesnt mean that they should have to COLLECT all of that information, that is bullshit...

Typical... (1)

Chaffar (670874) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946560)

'The kids don't care,' [he] said, 'because only old people like you and me suffer from the illusion of privacy these days.'"
If 12-year olds don't see a problem sharing their data on the intarweb, then why should we ? Don't forget, kids are really those who know what's best for them; we're just old-fashioned cold-war fossiles.
I don't share personal data because I refuse to see 35 year old marketing d*cks make money off my back. It's as simple as that. And I don't need to make friends on crappy social networking websites. I have WoW for that ^^

moD 3own (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16946594)

appeared...saying raise 0r lower the another cunting These challenges In addition, *BSD but FreeBSD of challenges that good to write you is the group that real problems

We get this in Aus. (1)

psiclops (1011105) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946694)

I know of clubs that photograph your id as you enter, one even has a stipulation in their license that forces them to. it's done so that if shit happens out the front police know who was there.

the illusion of privacy (1)

djupedal (584558) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946708)

'Ol people' know something the youngers may not..."the only way to live outside the law is to live within it."

Passing this off as a generational default does justice to none. If anything, younger generations simply haven't had time yet to enjoy spending a night in jail because your brother used your DL the last time he was ticked for speeding. Or they haven't had the pleasure of the Police knocking down their door (when they should have been elsewhere) in the middle of the night, looking for a rape in progress because someone figured out how to spoof the 911 system? Or they have yet to be called in for an IRS audit because some border-jumper used their SSN? MAYBE they still need to go thru the experience of being mistakenly strapped into a lie detector and accused of murder thanks to a 'misunderstanding' by the cops? Eh, Bunky...think this sounds like fantasy?

Give it time...your number (literally) will come up, and when it does, remember...in jail, everyone is innocent and only your cellmates can hear you scream - face down into the stained, smelly and torn mattress, of course. You'll love it, I promise....bitch.

The primary reason (3, Insightful)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946754)

Young people tend not to care much about what a government may have on them because they've never had to deal with the threat or actuality of an unfriendly government. When people start getting hauled off the streets and 'disappearing' c/o the state then suddenly that DNA and fingerprints you so willingly handed over, will seem rather more precious.

Privacy is dead. (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946772)

Privacy is dead. Has been for a while now, actually. Like it or not, you'll have to learn to live with it. And, try or not, I do not think this will ever change. Such is the price for living in the Information Age.

They already could store data on the card you show (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16946780)

having to show and id when buying is a violation of my privacy, but it's not as if though anyone forces anyone else to hang around in bars.
Now if I'd have reveal my identity to buy groceries I'd be worried.

10 years old in CA and why these boxes exist... (4, Informative)

Foo2rama (755806) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946792)

These yellow boxes are old hat in California and have been around for at least 10 years. While they check the DL to make sure the mag strip matches the info, they are not storing any info. Why do they do this? They are there to prevent fake and expired ID's. If a DL can pass this yellow box then it is a real DL and not a fake, this is a way for the bars to make sure no underage patrons or patrons without valid ID (expired) are in the house. I have never heard of this data ever being pulled out of the little yellow boxes or even the ability to pull the data. I went to a junior college with a guy that started this company, and I have seen them very often in the past 10 years in Southern California.

http://www.viage.com/ [viage.com] is the website for the company that makes these devices, as far as I can tell no data is actually being stored on these things at this time. Here is the link for the unit that is being addressed in the article. http://216.122.245.42/cav2000.htm [216.122.245.42]

This is old ... (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946798)

It's bad enough when you go to Fry's Electronics and they want to swipe your DL for a CASH RETURN. I had to explicitly tell the cashiers "DO NOT SWIPE MY DRIVER'S LICENSE" before giving it to them for the return item. They STILL play dumb, and try to do it. Well, at least a few years ago they did.

I remember listening to the radio in 2002/3 about this crap these clubs are doing. It started mostly by clubs on the east coast, and they were really getting noticed when they sold the information to 3rd parties or directly themselves sent patrons "Happy Birthday" and discount patron cards and such. This is DANGEROUS, especially since some states may have little or no encryption in their cards. Banks, grocery stores and other swipe, so these damned clubs, under the pretext of screening out past troublemakers, swipe. I wouldn't be surprised if they are also doing it as part of a bounty hunt to reap a reward by law enforcement if they nab a dumb guy. They also claim it's to put a dent in underage drinkers and such entering the bars. That's bullshit, since if they THINK the ID is fake or being misused, they already have the power to confiscate it, detain the "suspect" until police arrive, and then they should let the POLICE swipe the card for authenticity and holder identification.

I will NEVER enter a f*cking club that wants to swipe my ID. (I guess if I ever have cause to be on the East Coast and friends want to drag me to a club, I'll have to decline, unless it's one that doens't swip... I refuse just on principle...) All they need to do is keep a hot sheet on the wall of rejects, and ban them. When they swipe mag stripes which are NOT secure, who KNOWS what information they could pick up. And, with properties selling and being lumped in as co-properties (think of the TV and radio stations...) when will it end? Your name will be in a database of diverse companies that don't NEED your name. Entering a damned club is not a license for them to sell and market your information. If that is how they supplement their income, then they won't be getting money from me.

The state of Ohio provided me with the solution: (1)

JesusPancakes (941204) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946820)

My ID just doesn't scan. For some reason, the batch of IDs made around my twenty-first birthday all have broken magnetic stripes, which I discovered the first time the freedom-hating state-run liquor stores in PA tried to swipe my card. The guy said "Hey... this says your ID expired. Twenty years ago."

The last time they went to scan it, I told them ahead of time that it probably wouldn't scan, then pulled out my Draft Registration and SS card to prove it was me. He called over the manager, but who can deny that kind of ID?

Thanks, broken ID machine! Keep up the good work!

Re:The state of Ohio provided me with the solution (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946860)

Thanks, broken ID machine! Keep up the good work!

If they replace it with a good one it could always have a "little accident"

no problem (1)

MrHali (985004) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946908)

We have similar issues up here in Toronto but I solved this the easy way. I took a magnet to my drivers license.

Just don't carry ID (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16946974)

My driver's license can live in the car, where I'll never forget it when I'm driving.

At other times, I don't carry it, or anything else. Particularly if I'm going out drinking, I don't drive there in the first place.

Exactly twice have I been kept out of drinking establishments by this, so I waved my friends in and hung around in front with the bouncer ("no, I don't have anywhere to go; I'm waiting until my friends come out") until they got sick of me and let me in.

Re:Just don't carry ID (1)

Jekler (626699) | more than 7 years ago | (#16947040)

Carry a non-driver's license form of ID. Personally, I carry my U.S. passport. Some people think it's strange when I show them my passport and I've got semi-frequent comments that they've never seen someone use a passport as ID.

It's only ever been refused once, at a gas station when I was 22, a store refused to sell cigarettes to me because they said it wasn't a valid form of ID. The pleasure I received from staring ignorance in the face far exceeded any sense of rejection.

hmm (1)

spx (855431) | more than 7 years ago | (#16946980)

I see an issue for states like AZ, if the db is ever hacked, there are thousands of SSN's just floating around, waiting to have the persons identiy stolen.....good thing I dont get carded anymore, or live in that state. :)

Happened to me in Canada (3, Interesting)

LowneWulf (210110) | more than 7 years ago | (#16947008)

A club in Ontario swiped my license for 'verification'.

My next birthday, I got a cute little letter at my home inviting me to celerbate at their club. Needless to say, I don't let people swipe/scan my ID anymore.

Thankfully, Canada's PIPEDA privacy law now makes it illegal for them to deny providing you a service because you didn't provide personal information unrelated to the essential requirements for the service.

Useless information (1)

teh kurisu (701097) | more than 7 years ago | (#16947036)

personal data stored on the license -- the customer's name, address, license number, perhaps even height, weight, and eye color

Why is information like height, weight and eye colour even being stored on your licences? It has nothing to do with your ability to drive. Looks like the fight for privacy should be on two fronts in this instance.

Personally I'd be suspicious of anybody that wanted to swipe my ID for the purposes of checking my age, when my DOB is printed on the card itself. Mind you, my licence is just laminated card...

Like in the movies... (4, Insightful)

DeadboltX (751907) | more than 7 years ago | (#16947218)

A man walks up to the barkeep, "I'm looking for a man, goes by the name of Wilson. "Seen him come around here, maybe you've heard of him?"
The barkeep grumbles back, "Maybe, let me check my Drivers License Scanner Database". The barkeep then prints out a page of the aforementioned license information and gets proper compensation from the stranger.

Not exactly how it usually goes down in the movies, but if this keeps up then maybe in the near future movies will look a little more like this.

Days of yore... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16947270)

A couple of years ago I was in a pub in South-East Queensland (Australia). One of those nice, open, colonial-style places, kept free of McPub money. There were a couple of older security measures in place. One was a warning above the bar that said "My Pub - My Rules". For those that didn't get the hint, there was a weathered old criket bat with a little label underneath titled: "Patron Attitude Adjuster". Sadly, the 'wussification' of Western civilization continues...

Follow the money (1)

Toby The Economist (811138) | more than 7 years ago | (#16947292)

> Privacy advocates warn that such personal data, once in a database, is bound to be misused

Of course it will be misused; you can make money out of it.

Younger adults don't care because they have no knowledge or perception of the risks involved with the digitization of private data.

Going from analog records to digital records is NOT "more of the same"; it is qualitively different, because of the orders of magnitude improvement in the ease of accessing and searching the data.

Wait until they're running things (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 7 years ago | (#16947452)

I don't see no problem,' said [a club-goer], 22. 'That happens every day on the Internet. Any hacker can get the information anyway.'

This is the generation that grew up with locker and back pack searches, drug tests, and a near total disdain for the concept of privacy rights. Won't it be interesting to see what they think is okay for the cops to do if you're suspected of a crime.

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