Although the Yeovil scheme may have died, that may not be the end of it.
The Information Commissioner has recently warned about fingerprint scanners and CCTV, at pubs and nightclubs, being used to gather information for the police and authorities.
When the Information Commissioner flags up an issue, we should take that seriously - he isn‘t prone to ‘crying wolf‘.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/5389359/Police-should-not-force-CCTV-on-pubs-says-watchdog.htmlPolice should not force CCTV on pubs, says watchdog
Police should not force pubs and clubs to use CCTV and stricter guidance is needed on its use, the data protection watchdog has warned.
By Tom Whitehead, Home Affairs Editor
27 May 2009
David Smith, the deputy Information Commissioner, is demanding tighter controls amid concerns the police are pressuring businesses to install closed circuit television because it helps gather intelligence.
He echoes fears that licensing conditions are being used increasing to make pub and club owners install the cameras fuelling concerns over the growth of the "surveillance society".
In a formal submission to the Home Office, the Information Commissioner's Office will call for stricter controls on the use of CCTV and identity scanner, which can store customers' fingerprints and personal details, without proper justification.
Mr Smith said: ""What we are worried about is that businesses are being forced into gathering information for police and the law enforcement agencies.
"The question is whether we are going too far and is this surveillance at a level that is unacceptable that doesn't justify the benefits. Pubs and clubs should not become information gathering sources for police.
"We have built up more and more surveillance of people's lives and it is important that we keep a check on the overall purpose and whether what goes on is proportionate and effective."
He said he had no concern if the businesses wanted the technology "but what we are concerned about is that instead they are being forced by the police into collecting information for policing purposes".
Fingerprint scanners have been turning up, here and there, and have been discussed by some local authorities.
http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/business/s/1063171_fingerprint_access_for_city_clubFingerprint access for city club
August 19, 2008
...a Manchester nightclub has become the first in the country to introduce fingerprint technology.
7 Feb 08
Fingerprinting at nightclubs: It was noted that fingerprinting visitors had been introduced as a security measure before entering a night club. Although this was a voluntary request made to visitors it had resulted in successfully reducing crime. It was noted that the Police do not use the fingerprint information obtained for any other purpose;
My suggestion would be that local groups should try to gather information and give feedback on what is happening around the country.
As a separate issue, there is also a broader problem that young people are being forced to join the ID database, to produce ‘designated documents’, to be able to drink at pubs or buy alcohol or cigarettes, at supermarkets and other shops.
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/02/05/compulsory_id/You're barcoded: The sneaky under-25 route to compulsory ID
By John Ozimek
5th February 2009
…According to JD Wetherspoon, owner of the pub in question, the only acceptable ID would have been passport, driving licence or UK citizen card.
Happily, Wetherspoon’s have now relented, and a spokesman for the chain told The Register yesterday that in future military ID will be accepted.
This echoes an increasing trend by pubs, clubs and retailers to crack down on "underage" activity in two distinct ways. First, many clubs now operate an official bar on anyone under 21 – or in the case of one Nottingham club, under 25.
Second, even where individuals are not actually barred from premises or not allowed to purchase items, there is a vastly increased use of "Challenge 21" or even "Challenge 25" policies.
A spokeswoman for Asda explained their "Challenge 25" policy. She said in an email to us: "[This] will force all those over 18 but under 25 to carry photo ID (so driver's licence or passport) if they wish to purchase alcohol. The new threshold is also designed to assist efforts to combat proxy purchase – where young adults purchase alcohol on behalf of underage friends.
"We also have a Challenge 25 policy on knives."
Tesco is not quite so Draconian – yet. Its policy is to maintain a nationwide "Challenge 21" approach. However, a spokesman told us: "If local circumstances merit it, individual store managers do have the discretion to apply a "Challenge 25" policy."
As with Asda, the list of documents permitted is restricted to driving licence, passport and some proof of age cards.
The last year has seen increasing attempts to put in place online age verification: for films and games, by the BBFC, …
…both the Beer and Pub Association and the Association of Convenience Stores saw the issue as a pincer movement. There was pressure from politicians through public pronouncements and discussions with the retail trade and landlords to clamp down on underage sales; and in parallel with that, far greater penalties for those who breach the law, through the Licensing Act 2003 and subsequent legislation.
Not only are penalties harsher - individuals are now targeted as well as companies. In the past, the focus for prosecution may have been the retailer or pub landlord, but now it may just as easily be the individual making the sale.
…Our growing dependency on formal ID for those under 25 wishing to purchase an ever-lengthening list of regulated items is no more than coincidence. But for a government wedded to the idea of compulsory ID for all, it is a very happy coincidence indeed.
This is a very profound issue - the process of encroaching on people’s lives, forcing people to join the ID scheme and National Identity Register, because it is difficult to carry on normal lives without it.
Does No2id wish to expose the issue of government extending de-facto compulsion?