New user Manhole has jumped in on September’s story about fingerprinting of customers in Sultan’s Nightclub. It was an interesting post so I’m reproducing it here:
- How informed do you have to be before your opinion is worth something?
This is post number 78 and its the first to mention that the fingerprint and ID scan system isn’t owned or controlled by Sultans, its run by NightKey (see nightkey.com.au). Sultans merely hire their sevrices. Go to their website, you’ll feel much safer about going into a club with nightkey than one with just bouncers, and there’s at least two in Canberra now.
Anyone can tell you that underage drinking and violent alcohol fueled behaviour is a serious problem but a club owner will tell you how serious this is for them: the violence against staff, the damage to premises and reputation and the prospect of fines and suspension/cancelling of your liquor licence (ie close your business) if you are found with underage drinkers or serving intoxicated persons.
This is a problem they face and its cost of doing business to manage these issues to implement systems such as nightkey.
A club owner has everyone working against him, the police, the AAT (which has been accused of being a police run court) and the public. If an underage drinker is found on the premises the owner won’t know about it till the court date, which could be months later. The club owner can’t find out who the person was, what they looked like etc they unfortunately turn up at court in the hope to disprove the police’ assertions and ultimately get ambushed. Without evidence the club owner is at the mercy of the police/AAT.
If (a big if) the police co-operate they can eliminate the licencee from their investigations by accessing the logs of nightkey.
Underage drinkers know the score, they use fake id or other people’s id to get into a club and if asked to show id by the police they refuse (perhaps thinking they’ll be caught with fake id) but also frustrating the club owner as they now need to prove they checked their ID. The burden is on the licencee to prove they believed the person is 18 or over. A bit of a joke really so clubs are always at the mercy of the police should they want to put pressure on any club.
As for the sign it is there to comply with the privacy act, its not a contract to sell your details. The sign will tell you the information you need to know about their compliance with the privacy act.
Comments made by civil libertarians sounded like they got their information from the journalist so the journo had a more juicy sounding story. I don’t think they even knew about nightkey.
Staff can’t access the patron’s details at all, polic can. The log allows a person to enter based on a fingerprint scan to 300 digit PIN number, so they are vetted and allowed to enter. Read their website, its also where you can access you own details. Why shouldn’t club use this information to help manager their business and the experience for their customers better? Its no different to a staff member remembering you and doing the same, exactly the same checks and balances apply.
Sultans should be lauded for implementing a system that makes life much easier for legitimate customers and discourages violence, underage drinkers and drug dealers. Sure, it won’t stop the troublemakers and needs to keep the right checks and balances in place; as its way better than doing nothing at all.
Riot-act is anger therapy for people whose opinions are not respected.
On that last point, Manhole now joins us.