Kim Cameron – Booze vs. Godwin’s Law

Kim Cameron reports on a canadian night club scanning ID cards in order to bring down crime and violence:

“The Tantra Nightclub in Calgary had a practice of scanning driver licences before allowing people in. Clearly it is collecting and storing personal information as it includes an individual’s photograph, license number, birth date, address, and bar codes with embedded information unique to the individual driver’s license.

The club says that “We’ve got hard data that it works, we that says crime and violence is down in our venues by over 77%.” On the other hand, the Information and Privacy Commissioner described ID scanning as a deterrent to violent behaviour “conjecture” not backed up by hard data and ordered the club to stop the practice.”

Of course, this violates the laws of identity, and Kim has harsh criticism:

“The owner is apparently bitter. But he could get around these problems if he would just change the club’s name to something more fitting. How about the Mein Kampf Eagle Lounge? Then having a functionary scanning ”your papers” would just be part of the show – justifiable by any measure.”

This again brings Godwin’s law into the game, which is never a good start.

Actually, I think the topic around anonymous behaviour vs. behaviour when your identity is disclosed deserves a more down-to-earth type discussion. This is also a use of identity, even if identity gurus frown upon that. There’s no use in simply dismissing that, we need to provide guidance that creates a real alternative to collecting data.