10. 27. 2006
Biometric nightclubs - Round Two
Back in May I'd made mention of nightclubs in Yeovil, Somerset that required their patrons to submit to biometric cataloging. The premise being that if a patron causes trouble in a single establishment he'll be automatically banned at all other nightclubs using the identification system. The goal was to reduce horrific bar fights that often resulted in maiming and mutilation. The problem was so bad in Scotland that the country considered banning bars from serving glass to customers.
The town council of Yeovil has now made the fingerprint systems mandatory for reducing liability; those pubs that refuse to implement the system are in danger of losing their licenses. The much lauded reports have cited a 48 percent decrease in incidents where 15 or more policemen were needed to control the patrons. Seeing as there have only been two reports of major alcohol crime (one rape, and one riot involving 435 teenagers) under the new system we can deduce that the 48% drop is fairly close to being a decrease of only two major incidents since February. The council is unconcerned with the minor alcohol crimes, though domestic crime has risen as a result of the nightclub policies. The council's full findings will be released in November, and I'm eagerly awaiting their report.
Mark Ballard and Gemma Simpson disagree on whether other cities will be adopting the systems in the near future, but as I have a history of championing the right to privacy I would like to say that I will never drink in an establishment that must resort to such tactics. If the landlord can't guarantee your safety then avoid the bar at all costs.
As sad as I am to think that the Yeovil residents are accepting this system it still isn't as bad as the microchip implants that the Baha Beach Club in Barcelona is offering to their VIP members.
P.S. Do you really want to give your personal information to some random nightclub owner? I haven't seen any regulations published to prevent them from selling me a database of their patron's fingerprint scans, and I know a guy who is willing to buy scans of fingerprints so long as they have the identifying personal information attached.