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Australia Privacy

Pub Patrons Down Under Subject To Biometric Datamining 138

Posted by timothy
from the for-the-large-children dept.
mask.of.sanity writes with an excerpt from ZDNet Australia: "Pubs and clubs in Australia are signing up in droves to national and state biometrics databases that capture patron fingerprints, photos, and scanned driver licenses in efforts to curb violence. The databases of captured patron information mean that individuals banned at one location could be refused entry across a string of venues. Particularly violent individuals could be banned for years. The databases are virtually free from government regulation as biometrics are not covered by privacy laws, meaning that the handling of details are left to the discretion of technology vendors."
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Pub Patrons Down Under Subject To Biometric Datamining

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  • This is a great idea!
    A problem I've seen is people banned from pubs in one town simply moving on to drinking a little further away. It's too easy for them. A nationwide system would help. Those who only go out at night to harm should not be allowed out anywhere...
    I would certainly be pleased to have to "sign in" to a pub if means nobody with me is going to randomly glassed or stabbed by someone out to cause trouble.

    • Not so great when that goldmine of data gets stolen (and it will...). Fingerprints, licenses... sounds like good stuff for identity thieves. It would be a lot better if the bars ID everyone, but don't store the data and only compare it against the national database of known troublemakers.
      • by cayenne8 (626475)
        Not to mention, that I really don't want the govt, and the insurance industry knowing how often I go out to drink, or how MUCH I have (occasionally run bar tabs on CC's..tying that to the pup info would show more detail of what was had, timing, etc)...

        That is my business...I don't need to have health insurance or other industries out there knowing yet another one of my lifestyle data points.

        • This is Australia we are talking about. Government funded Medicare can't be denied to you because of your lifestyle, even if you smoke 3 packs and drink 2 slabs a day. Private health insurance can be, but only if you declare it.

          One of the bars close to my house actually does this. The reason they are doing it is to identify troublemakers after a big brawl has occurred. The sad thing is, if you turn up with a passport instead of a drivers license, it won't fit through their little scanner, so you won't h
    • by mikael_j (106439)

      The biggest problem with a system like this is actually in erroneous bannings.

      I have seen way too many times how the bouncers at a bar or club have thrown people out or simply not allowed them entry for no reason at all. Not to mention that trying to have a polite conversation with them can very well result in you being tackled to the ground and getting arrested for "assaulting" the bouncer (with his buddy of course telling the cops he saw the whole thing).

      I have myself on several occasions been told I wasn

      • by MrKaos (858439)

        I have seen way too many times how the bouncers at a bar or club have thrown people out or simply not allowed them entry for no reason at all. Not to mention that trying to have a polite conversation with them can very well result in you being tackled to the ground and getting arrested for "assaulting" the bouncer (with his buddy of course telling the cops he saw the whole thing).

        Bouncers at Australian pubs are mostly tools. It's not exactly a stellar career path. Some of them have associations with organi

        • by cayenne8 (626475)

          "Bouncers at Australian pubs are mostly tools."

          Interesting..just made me think, and I can think of VERY few bars I ever have gone to, that actually have bouncers, or at least if they have them, it isn't like they're at the door deciding who gets in. Sometimes, someone is checking ids at the door, but not all the time...often it is up to the bartender to check ID.

          But really...about the only places I go to that have bouncer presence that you really see and notice...are strip clubs, and some of the BIGGER cr

          • by mikael_j (106439)

            Is the bouncer thing more common outside of the US, in the EU and Oz or something?

            Here in Sweden it's pretty common that bars have a couple of guys who are basically police-licensed security guards (very basic training, have a badge, carry batons) at the door, they'll check your ID and tell you to go away if you're too drunk (I believe from a strictly theoretical POV it's not up to them to turn you away if you're too drunk but they just say the bartender told them to throw you out). They're pretty infamous for causing more violence than they prevent, at least at the door since they have

          • by MrKaos (858439)

            Is the bouncer thing more common outside of the US, in the EU and Oz or something?

            I can't remember a place where I *haven't* seen "doormen". They knock you back for the stupidest reasons like there is some power trip going on. They deliberately provoke people to see if they will react, tell them there shoes aren't right for the club, they don't like the haircut.

            Mostly I react by having a laugh with them "But I paid 50 bucks for this shirt mate" to try and defuse them. The other thing is some of the bounce

          • For an Australian venue to serve alcohol without serving food, they need to provide licensed security guards. Some stupid amendment made to the liquor licensing act requires it.
      • Bouncers may not be the most intelligent people in the world, but on average they know their jobs far better than you. They have far more experience than you. They are breaking up fights every weekend.

        The bouncers actions are pretty well aligned with the management of the club. They want to keep the club as near capacity as possible. When the club is fairly empty, they'll be a lot less fussy about who they let in that if it's full. It's easier to get in a club earlier than late.

        They don't want trouble. And

        • by mikael_j (106439)

          Bouncers may not be the most intelligent people in the world, but on average they know their jobs far better than you. They have far more experience than you. They are breaking up fights every weekend.

          Breaking up fights is their job, yes. No argument from me there.

          The bouncers actions are pretty well aligned with the management of the club. They want to keep the club as near capacity as possible. When the club is fairly empty, they'll be a lot less fussy about who they let in that if it's full. It's easier to get in a club earlier than late.

          Legal issue: That's not how bouncers ("ordningsvakter") here in Sweden are supposed to work. In fact, they're only supposed to be there to maintain order. They're not employees of the club/bar, they're paid per hour and basically work as contractors hired by the clubs/bars because the police demand the club/bar have n bouncers present (based on the size of the establishment, how often there are fights there, etc.)

          They don't want trouble. And they'll assess you on that basis. You don't understand the reason that the girl that was drunker than you was let in. But it's perfectly obvious. She's less likely to start a fight than a guy. If you're on your own or in a small mixed party you're far more likely to get in than a group of males.

          I love how you skipped my other

          • Legal issue: That's not how bouncers ("ordningsvakter") here in Sweden are supposed to work. In fact, they're only supposed to be there to maintain order. They're not employees of the club/bar, they're paid per hour and basically work as contractors hired by the clubs/bars because the police demand the club/bar have n bouncers present (based on the size of the establishment, how often there are fights there, etc.)

            OK.

            Also, I've seen "tricks" as disgusting as having two bouncers checking IDs and them deliberately splitting a mixed party into mostly-males and mostly-females, rushing the females past the ID check without even checking IDs and then immediately afterwards telling the male members of the group that the bar is "full"...

            Which implies actually the bouncers interests ARE aligned with the management. They aren't going to that trouble for their own amusement. They're doing it because the management wants more girls in.

            So explain why a friend of mine who was wasted, staggering around, dressed like a bum, yelling and hollering was let in and then I, who was sober and not acting like an ass, was told I was "too drunk"...

            Obviously I can't because I wasn't in the position of the bouncers. I don't know what the pair of you looked like. I don't know how the pair of you were dressed. I don't know how the pair of you acted. I don't know the particular club, nor the objectives of it's management. And I haven't been in a position to

            • by mikael_j (106439)

              As a follow-up to the "most bouncers are ok guys" bit. Yeah, I think that's possible but here in Sweden we have had a lot of issues with bouncers who have been shown to have ties to organized crime or otherwise have a checkered past to say the least. Basically a lot of people who aren't really fit to have the authority they have end up in that line of work because the basic requirements are basically "look intimidating and be able to subdue just about anyone".

              And as I stated in my original post, it's pretty

    • by Omestes (471991)

      I would certainly be pleased to have to "sign in" to a pub if means nobody with me is going to randomly glassed or stabbed by someone out to cause trouble.

      What the hell type of pubs do you go to?

      I haven't seen anyone randomly attacked at a pub since college... actually no, I think I saw some random violence at a bar that was having a metal concert 2-3 years ago (wasn't truly random, some guy jumped on the stage and almost knocked over a stack, and promptly got coldcocked by another fan/friend-of-the-band).

      • by cayenne8 (626475)

        "Why not find a bar that attracts a calmer, more balanced, crowd?"

        I was thinking along the same lines with regard to your comments on such violent bars.

        At the very least I'm thinking...how are you gonna get laid going to such bars? I mean, unless you're married (and sometimes even if you are) isn't one of the main reasons for going to a bar is to find a good looking chick to hook up with?

        That ain't gonna happen in a place where people are randomly throwing punches (or worse).

        • by PachmanP (881352)

          At the very least I'm thinking...how are you gonna get laid going to such bars? I mean, unless you're married (and sometimes even if you are) isn't one of the main reasons for going to a bar is to find a good looking chick to hook up with?

          That ain't gonna happen in a place where people are randomly throwing punches (or worse).

          Poor english to english translation. They're confusing getting laid out with getting laid.

  • No matter how paranoid I get about where I live, you always manage to be worse than that. It just makes my life easier knowing a country like this exists and it's not mine.

    • by alen (225700)

      this is like the shoplifting database in the USA. if you get a conviction for shoplifting there is a database that retailers check and they will refuse you employment based on it and possibly entry into their stores

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        And this is a bad thing?

        • If it is a life-long punishment, I'd say yes.

          Not everyone who does a bad thing will continue doing it indefinitely. How many people do you know that have stolen some sweets from a store when they were younger, but wouldn't dream of doing it now?

          Obviously, this can be counter-acted by a "lifetime" for the ban (so it expires after a few months on the first incident, few years on the second and never on the third, for example) or some way of getting removed from the list such as showing you have received help

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by donscarletti (569232)

      Australia's net censorship system is not going to happen. It was proposed, it was debated and in the end it went flat and Australia STILL has no filtering and less site takedowns than the US.

      This pub thing is run by certain pubs themselves in order to keep violent patrons out of, it will probably be reviewed by the government if there are undue privacy issues, but this is not a government program, it is on private property, it is not wide spread and it is not mandatory that you drink in the places with thi

      • by das3cr (780388)

        Banning firearms, IMO, is the biggest loss of civil liberty in Australia.

        Add to that this insulting idea that you can't have a drink without giving up your identity to an establishment that really has NO RIGHT to have or keep makes it plain that there are some serious problems in that county. I've always wanted to visit it. Have many friends who live there. But if the price of a cocktail is your identity, even your fingerprints? Come on ... why in the world would anyone put up with that?

        • by drsmithy (35869)

          Banning firearms, IMO, is the biggest loss of civil liberty in Australia.

          Firearms aren't banned. You just need a good reason to own one.

          Note that this is the same situation as pretty much all of the civilised outside America.

          Add to that this insulting idea that you can't have a drink without giving up your identity to an establishment that really has NO RIGHT to have or keep makes it plain that there are some serious problems in that county.

          I can count on one hand the number of establishments in the US I

          • Why would you willingly show your driver's license to anyone who is not a cop, and furthermore when you are not driving? You are giving away your full legal name, home address, date of birth, and other information that could be used to steal your identity. The only person who should see your driver's license is the cop that pulls you over. When not driving, leave your license at home, or in the glove box.
        • by Candid88 (1292486)

          But if the price of a cocktail is your identity

          No, the price of a cocktail in an Aussie bar is getting beat up for buying a womans drink.

          Banning firearms, IMO, is the biggest loss of civil liberty in Australia.

          Maybe to you, but you won't find many Aussies wanting guns legalized. Few would even define the absence of guns as a loss of liberty anymore than they'd define the absence of smallpox as a loss of liberty. We aren't particularly eager to imitate America's tens of thousands of gun deaths a year, we'd rather stick to having tens of gun deaths a year.

          • by Pi1grim (1956208)

            Darn it, so when you ban guns, then death from guns go away? Why didn't you just ban murder then? Or are the criminals in Australia reluctant to commit crimes with a gun, that's illegal to own?

            • by Candid88 (1292486)

              Whatever, just point out that while Australia has a few dozen gun deaths a year, the USA has hundreds of times that figure, despite only 10x the population. Thats the facts.

            • by 1u3hr (530656)
              Darn it, so when you ban guns, then death from guns go away?

              Correct. That's how it works everywhere, except the USA.

            • Its about the availability of getting that gun to commit the crime. the harder it is, the less likely it is to occur, obviously it's not impossible though.

              FYI its not illegal to have guns in Australia, you just need to be part of a gun club (which store your gun or you can store it at home in a vault) Or own a property of a certain size. the average citizen in Australia has no desire to have a gun and is happy the next door neighbor doesn't have one either.

              what I'd like to note though is the way you s
        • by Dishevel (1105119)

          A private business has EVERY RIGHT to control who enters and who dose not enter the establishment. As long as it is not based on Race, Sex, Religion, Sexual Orientation or things of that nature.
          What gives you the right to tell me how to run my business? Or my home?
          You have every right to patronize my business or not.
          You need to learn the differences between Governments and Private Businesses. You also should look into the difference between your rights and what you want.

          • by cayenne8 (626475)

            "What gives you the right to tell me how to run my business? Or my home?

            You have every right to patronize my business or not.

            The same government that has pretty much all over the nation (at least in the US) determined that a private business owner of say, a bar...can NOT allow a legal activity such as smoking. Same arguments you've made here have been made, I agree with them...but yet, you see it happening all over the US. Thankfully it hasn't gone 100% that way in New Orleans, but they did get a partial

          • private business has EVERY RIGHT to control who enters and who dose not enter the establishment. As long as it is not based on Race, Sex, Religion, Sexual Orientation or things of that nature.

            That's your view. My view is that businesses should not be allowed to take part in blanket discrimination based on any arbitrary criteria. Proscribing that only certain attributes are worthy of protection, and everyone else can suck it up is a terribly bad way of doing things. It draws a line, and dares people to dance as close to it as they can.

            • I'm not sure I would call a history of starting bar fights "arbitrary criteria" for not allowing a patron into your bar.
              • oh, I agree, but that's not really an arbitrary criteria. (Maybe I'm using 'arbitrary' wrong, I just mean some criteria of their unilateral choosing for which they can present no good reason.)

                If a bar were to, say, conclude that people from a certain area of town had a propensity towards starting bar fights, and starting refusing entry based upon the address on their drivers license, that wouldn't be ok (to my view).

      • by m50d (797211)

        What's your major issue with Australia anyway? The R rated games ban thing? If that's the biggest civil liberties issue in a country, it makes it pretty good by world standards.

        What about the ridiculous child porn laws? IIRC they've sent a guy to jail for pictures of Simpsons characters.

  • I pity the guy... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 02, 2011 @07:59AM (#35078646)

    .. who dumps a bar manager and finds himself barred from every pub in the land with no right of appeal.

    • by thegarbz (1787294)
      I don't. This is right up there with natural selection. If it means there's less people in the pubs who get themselves trashed and start random bashings then by all means. I'm not a fan of the method, but this is a sign of desperation now. I don't think there's a young person in Brisbane or Sydney who hasn't sustained a blood nose or black eye for no reason other than they went to the pub and some drunk didn't like their face. Actually I'm even more for it if it means lifting our clubbing curfew.
  • by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmh@gmail. c o m> on Wednesday February 02, 2011 @08:13AM (#35078700) Journal

    So pretty soon we'll have to use a mixture of disguises (including fingerprint covers or gloves) and opting out (not going to bars that do this).

    Also:

    The databases are virtually free from government regulation as biometrics are not covered by privacy laws, meaning that the handling of details are left to the discretion of technology vendors."

    Yay free market! Praise be to Rand!

    • Yay free market! Praise be to Rand!

      Free market != no oversight. Even Rand suggested as much in her books.

    • by Loosifur (954968)

      Well, yeah, yay free market! It's a privately-managed list, opted into by private businesses. Nobody is forcing bar owners to use the system, and nobody's forcing patrons to go to bars that do. If you don't like the idea of your biometric data floating around in some private database, tracking bars you frequent and maintaining records of your (mis-)behavior, vote with your feet: only go to bars that don't use biometrics. If you really, really care, start a campaign to convince other people to avoid biometri

      • Well, yeah, yay free market! It's a privately-managed list, opted into by private businesses. Nobody is forcing bar owners to use the system, and nobody's forcing patrons to go to bars that do. If you don't like the idea of your biometric data floating around in some private database, ...

        There are many things that "private businesses" are not allowed to do in any reasonable country. Fact: in europe the bar would not be allowed to store, let alone share with anyone, customer's biometrics without patrons first signing an authorization (and no, walking though the door is not a signature). Also, upon leaving the premises you could request they immediately delete any data they ever had on you.

        I say that is a better system, and it is only a loophole in Australian law that allows them to do th

  • by berryjw (1071694) on Wednesday February 02, 2011 @08:31AM (#35078806)
    More and more, we dispense with privacy and freedom in the name of safety and security, although all of human history demonstrates we shall gain neither. There will always be violence, there will always be those who will take by force, and there will always be available to them the tools to commit these acts. Has everyone forgotten the cost of freedom? It is not limited to those casualties of past wars, honored though they may be, but includes the living accepting the chance of injury or death to preserve it. Why are we so willing to squander the chance to live, for fear of death? Each of us will surely die, yet so many seem so willing to quit living, for fear of it. Freedom is the chance to fail, the opportunity to make mistakes, it is by nature uncertain. If we are to maintain it, we must accept mistakes will be made and some will abuse it, be it a bar-room brawler or religious zealot. If we deny the chance of this, we've denied the possibility of success, as well.
    • A simple hack may be sufficient to be free from *insert personal enemy here* in all pubs. And, following Australia a bit, soon in a lot of other places as well.
    • by couchslug (175151)

      PRIVATE businesses don't BELONG to the public. The shopkeeper should have "freedom" too.

      All that boilerplate is nice, but if you don't want to get blacklisted by bars the fucking behave yourself or get shitfaced at home. An individual bar in the US can get a ban customers, and sharing info about those who are banworthy is merely cooperation.

      • by berryjw (1071694)
        No, once the shopkeeper opened the door to the public, it became public. There are ample laws, in any country, addressing the consequences of such behavior, be it simply rude, destructive, or deadly. This type of action, like so many others, is evading the law, and denying basic civil liberty. I do not condone anyone's violence, in any place, but accept the reality it will happen, no matter what security theatre is performed. I *do* object to the notion that someone like you can dismiss everyone's right
    • by BatGnat (1568391)
      $1.05
    • by thegarbz (1787294)

      There will always be violence, there will always be those who will take by force, and there will always be available to them the tools to commit these acts. Has everyone forgotten the cost of freedom?

      Spoken like a man who's never been to an Australian city pub. This isn't a government trying to put some stupid perceived safety bullshit up in exchange for being able to watch over us. This is a government who's run out of ideas. Pub violence here is simply bad. Drunken disorderly behaviour here is simply bad. There hasn't been a single day I have been out where I haven't seen some brawl break out, some guy get knockedout, or my personal favourite, some random dude I've never met punched me in the face be

  • One reason they like this is it means they can let the people run up tabs if they don't have enough for their drinks. So if you only bring $20 with you so you won't spend too much while drunk they can get you to run up a tab, and collect on it later.

    • by z0idberg (888892)
      Tabs are non-existent in Australian pubs/clubs. You pay for drinks as you get them. You can put you credit card behind the bar in some places but must pay using the card before you leave.
  • Where have you been? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Wowsers (1151731) on Wednesday February 02, 2011 @08:35AM (#35078832) Journal

    Back in the UK, this story caused a lot of concern when it hit the main news.... So much for freedom loving UK.

    http://www.croydonguardian.co.uk/news/4718624.Website_slams_bar_s_fingerprint_policy/?ref=mr [croydonguardian.co.uk]

    It's now becoming quite popular to want to scan / photograph people before going into night clubs, corresponding in less people going to said clubs and bars.

    What the bar owners do with this data nobody knows, but I'm sure they would not miss a trick in selling it or giving it to criminals who want this data.

    • by Pumpkin Tuna (1033058) on Wednesday February 02, 2011 @08:37AM (#35078856)
      I have never been to a bar that was so fabulous, so wonderful, that I would give up my fingerprints or even a scan of my license to get in. By the same token, I have never been in a bar or club that I would remotely trust with that information.
      • ...an Australian pub--wait, actually they didn't but for different reasons.
      • by thegarbz (1787294)
        I'd be happy just to go to any bar these days where there wasn't a risk of someone getting trashed and picking a random fight. Shit even our work Christmas party at the local bowls club two people (from another company) were horridly trashed and started a fight. When they were finished one of them came to me and said "What you looking at cunt, you want some too?" I mean shit I didn't even see most of the fight I was just drinking a beer with workmates.

        I for one hope that they roll this out. I hope that
    • by ledow (319597)

      And at least the UK places are bound by Data Protection laws with regards the electronic data they collect - sounds like these Aussie pubs aren't.

      But then, I echo the sentiment - you want my biometric to do X? Won't be doing X then.

      My daughter's nursery wanted my fingerprint in order to ensure that whoever comes to collect her is me or my wife. "What if we weren't available?" I pointed out, given that she's in childcare precisely because we both work all day. "Oh, then you could phone and give us permiss

    • by xenobyte (446878)

      We also have something similar in the works here in Denmark... A so-called "Hoodlum Register" where violent people are registered and banned from either football events (matches or public screening) or nightclubs. So far they're not linked (two separate systems) but I'm certain they will be linked fairly soon, especially because the same people tend to show up in both registers...

      Personally I find it to be a great idea. People that don't know how to behave needs to be taught a lesson they won't forget. A ba

      • by mlts (1038732) *

        True, but with databases these days, when does the info go off the DB? It isn't hard for a third party to get dumps from that database, and create a permanent record that can be used by businesses for extra security.

        Yes, someone might be an asshole at a sporting event and deserve a year suspension from it... but the way data is stored forever by third parties, that year can easily turn into a lifetime.

      • Who administers the scheme?

        I find it really worrying that in many places private entities are allowed to collude to punish people without going through the justice system. This applies whether it is bar security or the credit rating agencies. The larger those collusions get the more they get the power to ruin peoples lives.

        IMO colluding to punish people should be banned just as we ban colluding to fix prices. Colluding to protect public safety should probablly be allowed but shuold be subject to a court bas

      • ...If it were up to me, the ban should be extended to all public events or venues... No cinema, no restaurants, no amusement parks, no festivals... for a year or more. That will hurt just as it is supposed to. If it could be combined with a restraining type order with the police that will trigger harsher punishments for relevant offenses (violence, vandalism etc.) while on the ban - it would be perfect. Severe fines are a must too of course.

        I would like to see a study that tracks the outside effects of such a program. For instance, does it actually cause the banned patron to change his ways; or does he simply take the violence and misbehavior elsewhere? I would be concerned about a possible increase, in both frequency and intensity, of domestic violence among the banned, as their social circles are limited.

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      Happened here in Canada as well with a program called BarWatch.

      It was, interestingly enough, quite successful that bars in the surrounding areas started picking it up (and the privacy commissioner had to be involved). It was started by a small group of bars in downtown Vancouver and spread out.

      Turns out all the seedier characters simply left for bars not in the program, and those in the program saw their business improve as people who were too scared to enter said bars (due to said characters) started comin

  • by GottMitUns (1012191) on Wednesday February 02, 2011 @08:46AM (#35078912)
    Maybe those particularly violent should be in jail?
    • Maybe those particularly violent should be in jail?

      That may be possible now that we know who they are. I'm concerned about my privacy as well but head out to Hindley St, Adelaide on a Saturday night and you'll start to see why these measures are necessary. Too many people walk around looking for a fight, too many bloody assaults and too many people getting away with it. Having said all that I do think taking your fingerprints is going a little too far; Let's just limit it to scanning patrons' drivers licenses.

      • by Dishevel (1105119)

        Maybe if you had random law abiding citizens out having a good time that may or may not be armed with a concealed handgun some of those problems would "Go Away"?

    • For some reason Australia seems to have a problem with this. The clearest example of this is the biker gangs (one of the groups causing trouble at the night spots). Despite the fact that it is already illegal to be a member of an outlaw gang, and despite the fact that they freely ride around wearing the jackets proclaiming that they are members of said gangs, the police claim that they are powerless to stop them.

    • nah, jails around my way are for turning civil disobediants (ha) INTO the particularly violent
    • Maybe those particularly violent should be in jail?

      As everyone knows Australia is populated entirely by criminals, so clearly we must put them all in jail.

      Truly your intellect is astonishing.

      Wait til I get started! Now, where was I?

    • by couchslug (175151)

      How is that Insightful?

      People eventually get OUT of jail, and "paying your debt to society" has NOTHING to do with "changing your behavior".

      Idealistic bullshit is SO CUTE when it's spouted by folks who never ran a bar. Don't like the rules? Get the fuck out.
      That's why so many bars are private clubs. Exclusivity is good.

      • How is that Insightful?

        People eventually get OUT of jail, and "paying your debt to society" has NOTHING to do with "changing your behavior".

        Idealistic bullshit is SO CUTE when it's spouted by folks who never ran a bar. Don't like the rules? Get the fuck out. That's why so many bars are private clubs. Exclusivity is good.

        Don't spend much time in bars do you?

        It's the "exclusive" clubs that the agro little fucks like to hang around. I was attacked by three guys coming out of one, all I was doing was waiting for a friend outside a club that refused me entry. I defended myself, and then the fat idiot of a bouncer got the wrong end of the stick and tried to attack me.

        My rule of thumb is that if the joint has a bouncer, they have scum for patrons, and it's probably best avoided.

    • by MBC1977 (978793)
      Possibly, but one can be violent without committing a crime; unless you are saying just being violent is a crime.
    • by thegarbz (1787294)
      Unfortunately these people get charged with drunken and disorderly conduct. They get a fine. The fine comes out of their drinking budget for the week. No serious! I actually knew someone who budgeted for the fact that he may get dragged out of the pub by the cops. We're no longer friends.
  • by timbo234 (833667) on Wednesday February 02, 2011 @08:59AM (#35079002) Journal

    Anyone who's lived in Australia recently will now about the increasingly restrictive and puritanical direction our alcohol and pub/club licensing laws are going in. The usual reason brought up is the violence, which anecdotally and in my own experience is much worse than in similar places in Europe. However alcohol is seen as the cause of it all so law-abiding people get stung with sky-high alcohol prices (highest in the world outside the Nordic countries) and really restrictive door entry policies and closing hours.

    If they setup some proper exclusion scheme to exclude violent people, with proper judicial oversight and judicial right of appeal - perhaps with tribunals similar to the industrial relations ones, we could stop the majority of the violence and do away with the puritanism.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Agreed. Simply not frequenting bars/clubs that scan ID etc isnt even an option anymore.... atleast in Perth, they all pretty much do it. Considering the types of characters that own night clubs, its quite a scary situation we're being forced into... but it seems this is the future for most western society.

    • by thegarbz (1787294)
      My personal favourite: Banning glasses in pubs and requiring they serve beer in plastic cups.

      We have a problem! Maybe something harsher than a minor fine should be in order for someone who punches some random in the face because it seemed like a good idea at the time.
      • by timbo234 (833667) on Wednesday February 02, 2011 @04:44PM (#35084332) Journal

        Exactly. Where I'm (temporarily) living in Germany they take a zero-tolerance attitude to fights in nightclubs and bars. A friend of mine was involved in a one-punch fight - the other guy was unharmed and there was no blood. However the bouncers still called the cops, who arrived and took everyone's details etc. In a minor case like that it ended up with just a letter being sent out a few months later saying 'no further action'.

        But it's why you can go out at night in Germany very safely - the cops investigate and take seriously every little assault. We need to do that in Australia, and to avoid clogging the courts with minor assaults introduce an exclusion-from-licensed-premises scheme, where the excluded person still has the right to challenge it in court if they wish.

        I've even heard of people in Sydney being given suspended sentences over glassings. That needs to stop too, if you glass somebody and cause permanent scarring or even loss of an eye you should expect to spend some years in gaol, it's GBH. It needs to be punished severely for people to get the message that it's not just part of the average nightly brawl that you pick up a glass and go all in.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Seriously, it's like South Carolina and Jersey Shore had a baby.
  • Now I have to sever limbs and pluck out eyes before I get to the pub! This is going to ruin my evenings.

  • by sherpajohn (113531) on Wednesday February 02, 2011 @09:52AM (#35079460) Homepage

    I was told that I could not enter a pub in Worcester this spring as I was wearing a Tilly Hat. "Dress code" I asked? "No, we just need to be sure the CCTV gets good images of your face in case anything bad happens". This was not even a club per se, though they did have a DJ, there was no dance floor. I have heard there's live music club in Worcester that requires photos, but have not been there yet. I am not one of the - "if you have nothing to hide, why ask for privacy" lot, but on the other hand, if its a requirement of a venue, I'll follow it if I really want to be there.

  • Dear Ms. Julia Gillard,

    As a 20-something tax paying adult I feel this is a topic that needs to be resolved as soon as possible. I am not against bometric or ID scanning, however I am extremely against zero policies being implemented to address this. We must implement the following policies to resolve this:

    1. Do not allow any club/pub/anything to automatically perform these scans without prior consent
    2. Enforce real and strong penalties for pubs/clubs who do not store, protect and secure this information.

    Only

    • by BatGnat (1568391)

      Sadly our Minister for Privacy and Freedom of Information (Brendan O'Connor) doesn't understand the fundamentals of Information Security.

      Since when has any of our Aussie politicians know anything about what their portfolio covers...

  • In the real future, this guy wouldn't even make it past the front door.

    http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/09/found_divebars/ [wired.com]

    (Ah well. They were wrong about CueCat too. And Apple. And push. And...)

    .
  • Let's remember this is *Australia* so some points to consider 1) It is a penal colony. If these people weren't guilty, their ancestors wouldn't have been sent there; 2) Australia happens to be the richest sources of vital biometrics available - we have to mine it somewhere people; 3) Have you ever been to a bar with an Australian?
    • by rubycodez (864176)
      4. they hang upside down from the globe by their feet like bats, who cares what batty people do. 5. they talk funny
    • by Omestes (471991)

      3) Have you ever been to a bar with an Australian?

      Yes, and it wasn't a terribly unpleasant experience. First off he drank around 5 Irish Car Bombs, then noticed a rugby match was on the television and suddenly turned autistic outside of a couple strange yelps. I think the closest to violence he got was when someone brought up "Crocodile Dundee" or "shrimps on barbies"...

  • The systems in question don't actually store your fingerprint, they store a hash (that should be relatively hard to reverse) based on some finger print information.

  • I have had a number of bar owners and bouncers as friends in the past, and in one sense it is a good idea.

    I know where I am in Canada a lot of bar owners tried to band together to try and curb violence. There is a subset of people who basically like to go to the bar, get drunk and get in a fight. The idea was if you get banned from one bar you get banned from all participating bars, in this way it keeps these people out, and also perhaps acts as a deterrent. The problem was with the implementation. The only

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