Anorak News | Bar Codes

Bar Codes

by | 10th, February 2006

‘WE may be wrong. It might just be that thousands of us flock to buy the Government’s voluntary ID card.

‘If yer finger’s not down, yer not coming in’

You see, as young Wayne and his identity bracelet-wearing mates already recognise, knowing who you are when you’re off your face on hooch can be a big help. How useful it is when sprawled face down in the precinct to raise an arm and show the paramedic that your name is Armani.

But where bracelets and dog-tags lead, technology is now taking over. As the Guardian reports, a new scheme in Yeovil, Somerset, is using the latest technology to make the town safer.

Owners of late-night pubs and clubs will ask customers to register their personal details. Drinkers will be photographed and have their right index finger scanned on to a computer.

The paper says that this will make it easier for bouncers to spot those who have caused trouble in the past.

As the Times says, five clubs have already signed up to the scheme, which is being funded by the Government’s Safer and Stronger Communities initiative. The hope is that the rest of Yeovil’s watering holes will soon join the network.

But not everyone is happy. Amazingly, the idea of handing over personal details, including your fingerprints, in exchange for the right to sip overpriced day-glo beverages in a cavernous theme pub is not everyone’s idea of a fun night out.

As a spokesperson for Liberty, the civil liberties group, tells the Times: “There will be an awful lot of personal information on each file. If this scheme does become compulsory, Liberty encourages the police and club owners to comply with data protection principles when dealing with each individual’s personal details.”

Indeed. The Times says that the information could allow police to find out where an individual was at the time a crime was committed. It might be used to ensure anyone subject to an antisocial behaviour order does not break it. And it could prevent under-age drinking.

All a step forward from the dark days when pub staff could only check if a patron was looking for trouble by checking his hands for signs of blood…’

Posted: 10th, February 2006 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink