Banned ID Scanner System

Another case of the shared banned person list not working as expected.  A few years ago, a company in Canada tried deploying a system which used a shared banned ID Scanner list between clubs and was shut down by the Canadian government due to privacy issues.  Below is a news story detailing issues with a recently installed banned ID Scanner  system in a territory in Australia that shows that these banned ID scanner schemes sound good on paper but are difficult to execute properly.

Apparently, first weekend of forced ID’s scanning in the  territory was not without issues.  The system did not work well for tourists with international licenses nor with old / worn licenses.  So the Attorney General basically said, bypass the banned id scanner system and use common sense.  After the uproar, the Attorney General realized that was a bad idea and had to back track.  So after almost investing 5 million bucks, people are starting to wonder about the government’s banned ID Scanner investment.

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Oh no Delia, no idea on no ID

http://www.ntnews.com.au/article/2011/07/10/246191_opinion.html

NICK CALACOURAS   |  July 10th, 2011

IT’S not every day you hear the Attorney-General telling people to ignore the law.

Especially when taxpayers are forking out a small fortune to advertise these same laws.  The Territory Government’s new ID scanner laws were always going to cause a problem. The Country Liberals argue that it is a breach of our personal freedoms. That’s a bit of a stretch.

I have nothing against showing my ID to buy a drink. I’ve been doing it since I was 18.And Territorians are required to carry their licence while they are driving, so they should be carrying it when they reach the bottle shop.Sure, people will moan and groan about the imposition, but they will do that anyway.  No, the scanners were going to cause a problem because it’s too complicated.

There is so much room for error – by human and machine. What if the scanner can’t read my ID?  The chip in my credit card doesn’t work half the time – why should the ID scanner be any different ?  What if the wrong person’s name is put on the banned drinkers’ list?

It’s bound to happen.

There are administrative errors all over the place.  The Government once transferred $130,000 of Building the Education Revolution funding to a cric- ket identity because his name was similar to an architecture company.  And then we have backpackers.  Last weekend we had plenty of reports of backpackers being rejected – even though they had an international licence.  And many kept their passports as a security deposit at the hostel.

More than 43,000 people had their licences scanned on the scanner’s first weekend. And there were stories from some bottle shops of IDs failing to scan because they were old and faded.  When Attorney-General Delia Lawrie heard of this, she told bottle shops to use “common sense”.

“If the person’s clearly not a chronic alcoholic, then go ahead, proceed with sale,” she said.  Go ahead and proceed with the sale? That can’t be right.

Why is there a voice on the radio and TV every five minutes telling me about the “small inconvenience to cut crime”?  The legislation does not allow for any discretion, so how can she ask store owners to use their “common sense”?

Ms Lawrie tried to clarify her statement the next day to say bottle shops could manually enter the data into the system.  But clearly that was not what she meant.

The exact quote was: “If the person’s clearly not a chronic alcoholic, then go ahead, proceed with sale.”  A GOOD question to Ms Lawrie would be: “What does a chronic alcoholic look like?”  It’s a question that flooded the NT News website.

“My best friend was a chronic alcoholic, and you would never tell to look at her,” posted Ally from Wagaman.  “She was always impeccably dressed with full hair and make-up … but a chronic alcoholic nevertheless.”  And why are we only applying this law to chronic alcoholics?  It applies to people who have committed an alcohol-fuelled offence.

In fact, a person can be put on the banned drinkers register for a single drink-driving offence.   According to the legislation, you will go on the banned list for alcohol-related crimes and assaults, repeated or high range drink-driving offences and if you are put in protective custody three times in as many months.

So how is a shopkeeper supposed to tell from a person’s face if they have a drink-driving conviction?  Or if they’ve ever been locked up in the drunk tank?  I have known plenty of functional alcoholics and you wouldn’t know to look at them.

So what piece of common sense is a bottle shop supposed to use?

Perhaps bottle shops are supposed to look into a person’s eyes and decide whether they have been banned.  Or maybe just the colour of their skin.  NT News readers were quick to interpret Ms Lawrie’s comments.

“What she really means is ‘as long as they are not an Indigenous long grasser’,” wrote Sharyn.   Jenny of Darwin also came to the same conclusion in her post.

“What Delia is saying is ‘if the person is not a long grasser, then it’s ok to sell them grog’ even if they don’t have valid ID,” she wrote.   Ms Lawrie has taken a complicated law and, within a week, muddied the waters even further.  So much for the Banned ID Scanner system.

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