The Coogee Bay Hotel bar in Australia is among a growing number of bars and pubs in the country scanning fingerprints and taking digital photographs of its customers as they enter the bar in an effort to keep those out who have been known to incite fights or other bad behavior, according to a Sydney Morning Herald article.
Despite the bars putting its noble intentions out as the reasoning behind the systems, many feel that a lack of checks and balances and regulation of such systems constitutes potential privacy breach.
While some are calling for the bars to stop using such technology, others such as the Biometrics Institute of Australia are calling for changes to the country’s Privacy Act to include privacy impact assessments and audits for such systems.
Even without alterations to the privacy act, however, some of the bars may already be in breach of it simply by using the biometrics provider ID Tect for their biometric system wherein the company pledges to share a list of troublemakers with all its users, an act that would be illegal under the privacy act without making the individual in question aware first.
While many also fear that such an unregulated system could be open to attack by hackers looking to steal biometric data, the system does not store any actual fingerprints, but templates, mathematical representation of ones created by an algorithm that is only kept in the database for 28 days.
While many are shocked by the patrons’ willingness to share their personal details, most have reported that they deal with it simply because they want to just get in to see their friends.
Read the full story here.