Big Brother invites you to his club

By Lunar Loops · May 6, 2006 · ·
  1. Lunar Loops
    The following article appeared in today's Telegraph in the UK:

    Fingertip scans point the way to a safer night out
    By Richard Savill
    (Filed: 06/05/2006)

    At the entrance to The Beach Café Bar, skimpily clad girls and young men in designer shirts make their way past two bouncers.
    But, after gaining approval, there is one more hurdle to negotiate as they make their way to the bar and the dance floor. They are invited to present their right index finger so the tip can be scanned.
    [​IMG]Jennifer Miller and Doug Perkins are scanned at the Beach Cafe Bar

    This is nightclubbing 21st century-style. The recently opened Beach Café Bar is one of six late-night drinking and dancing venues in the Somerset town of Yeovil that is pioneering a scheme aimed at making clubbing safer.
    If it is successful, other pubs and clubs across Britain are expected to follow suit.
    "We are trying to create a safer environment for everyone and that includes the public, the staff and myself," said David Gordon, 28, the manager.
    "We hope it will be a big deterrent to troublemakers. The biggest issue these days is the safety of people and anything we can do to improve things must be an advantage."
    Customers entering the six venues in Yeovil are asked to give their details, have a digital photograph taken, and agree to a biometric finger tip scan.
    Registration takes about a minute and a computer profile is created. At present, the scheme is voluntary, but it is likely soon to be made a condition of entry.
    Anyone involved in anti-social behaviour - including being ill due to alcohol, rude to staff, taking drugs, causing damage, or being involved in or starting a fight - will have the details logged on a computer.
    When the culprit goes to another club the finger scanner will show up the details and it will be up to staff at each venue to decide whether the troublemaker should be allowed in.
    The inTouch scheme is instant, so anybody ordered out of one club is unlikely to be able to walk into another nearby as if nothing had happened. Troublemakers face a ban of up to three years.
    The scheme, the first to involve a network system, is creating interest not only in Britain but abroad. The licensees, police and the local authority have devised the scheme, which is supported by the town's Pubwatch.
    Yeovil, like many market towns, can have a volatile atmosphere late at night, particularly on Friday and Saturday. At The Beach Café late on Thursday, scores of revellers were being registered.
    Some were invited to give details when they arrived while others were asked at the bar if they would take part.
    All but two of 30 clubbers spoken to by The Daily Telegraph were in favour. They included Jennifer Miller, 19, a beautician, who said: "It seems a smart idea."
    Her boyfriend, Doug Perkins, 26, a sales manager, added: "I'm sure people will be reluctant to get into fights if they know their details are logged in this way."
    Human rights groups, however, have expressed concern that the scheme is an infringement of civil liberties.
    The two young men who objected were concerned that they might be barred on the basis of a false accusation. But they both supplied their details.
    Another clubber, Tim, a 19-year-old painter and decorator, admitted to having been thrown out of a club a year ago for fighting. But he said he had only been defending himself and he had now "grown up", and was prepared to join the scheme.
    "I signed up because if it becomes a condition of entry then I don't have a choice if I want to go out in Yeovil," said Tim, who declined to give his full name.
    Since the scheme began a week ago, the club has signed up 250 revellers. Daniel Trudgian, the deputy manager, explains to customers that it is really only an extended membership scheme.
    He said the club worked with police but the Data Protection Act protected the system. Officers would not have access to the system, which was operated by the pubs and clubs.

    Share This Article


  1. Voices
    I was listening to NPR the other day and they reported that Kansas was going to start fingerprint IDing people who were pulled over for traffic violations. I find this sort of behavior scary in that HomeLan can access any data base they want, even if it's supposed to be civilian and not open to law enforcement. I can just imagine being pulled over for a broken tail light and being asked to present my right index finger, and then proceeding to drive off into a Philip K. Dickian nightmare reality.

    I, for one, would not be going to those particular clubs.
  2. Nagognog2
    It would, in the US, be AFIS that the scan would go to instantly. AFIS: American Fingerprint Identification System. This computer would then spill out any info on one that you were ever arrested for, assuming you were fingerprinted at some time down the road. So, if you were arrested for dope but not convicted, the cop would have probable cause to search you for drugs based on that arrest. Just the arrest. Not conviction.

    This will quite likely end up in front of the Supreme Court brought by the ACLU. But that will take years. In the meanwhile - either cut off your fingers, or move out of Kansas.

    "If you are accused of something, then you must be guilty." Ed Meese - Attorney General of the USA under President Reagan.
To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!