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Another view of night club fingerprinting

By johnboy 13 November 2008 34

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 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.

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34 Responses to
Another view of night club fingerprinting
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Thumper 12:32 pm 05 Dec 08

That’s bizarre, truly bizarre.

What a fcuking meathead.

PM 12:27 pm 05 Dec 08

A few weeks ago I tried to take some photos of the machine and I was asked by a bouncer to stop because it was private property 🙂

So, appreciating the opportunity to further highlight the irony of the situation, I tried to take a couple of photos of them. It was probably a bad idea, but until that time my friend and I were just being lighthearted.

They chased me and my friend across the road where we stopped at a police van – no police around, but things calmed down. We figured the police would be nearby, and no bouncer’s going to attack a couple of blokes right next to a police van.

I was told that if I ever came back they’d bash my f**king head in, or words to that effect.

I know many bouncers – most are great. But the main bouncer that night was a right cockhead who shouldn’t hold a security license.

Deadmandrinking 12:19 pm 15 Nov 08

farnarkler said :

Sounds like Civic nightclubs have really gone downhill since the good old days of The City Club, Pandoras and the bin.

I’m not that old!

farnarkler 12:03 pm 15 Nov 08

Sounds like Civic nightclubs have really gone downhill since the good old days of The City Club, Pandoras and the bin.

Deadmandrinking 11:49 am 15 Nov 08

I’m glad I was 16 during the years I was 16.

Special G 9:15 am 15 Nov 08

15-20 people on a bar crawl would double his patronage. I heard ACT is looking at searches within a certain distance of a licenced premises under anti knife laws.

farnarkler 8:50 am 15 Nov 08

Considering Sultans (or whatever it’s called now) plays RnB, hip hip and rap, it won’t be getting a visit from me in the near future.

PreciousLilywhite 3:48 pm 14 Nov 08

Walking through the Interchange and Sultans is now gone??…There is a big sign now for a place called Krave.
Whatever, pretty Krap name, I reckon.

jakez 11:51 am 14 Nov 08

The premise of his rebuttal is completely flawed. It was widely known in the discussion that Sultan’s was contracting out. This doesn’t change a damn thing.

As I said, Sultan’s is more than welcome to put forward any term they want to someone who voluntarily agrees to go onto their private property. I reserve my right to tell Sultan’s to sod right off.

p1 9:20 am 14 Nov 08

Couple of points.

I seem to recall that somewhere in the privacy act businesses are required (at your request) to disclose what personal data of yours that they possess, and I think there may also be some clause enabling you to have them remove your data from their system.

I am curious as to whether the system actively checks the name of each person entering against their ID, to determine if that person has ever entered with different ID, or if that ID has ever entered with a different person?

tylersmayhem 9:14 am 14 Nov 08

i>You do have curtains in your house, don’t you?

I can’t believe you are STILL going on with this “curtains” business JimBoy. Good grief!

Davo111 5:35 pm 13 Nov 08

PreciousLilywhite said :

Maybe [if] the underage drinkers were held accountable aswell? They are costing a business $15k.

But what about the profit they make from the underage drinkers? I’m sure the underage don’t just sit in the corner sipping cokes once they’ve spent all this effort/money gaining access/getting fake IDs.

johnboy 5:31 pm 13 Nov 08

Davo111 said :

I can see what you’re saying, but Sultans has just lost business from me because of their new system. Actually i was planning a massive bar crawl with about 20-30 people, and we were going to stop there. So it looks like we will be giving that place a miss.

Many bars prefer not to get “massive” bar crawls if they can avoid them.

Davo111 5:29 pm 13 Nov 08

Tetranitrate said :

No, that’s a complete misrepresentation of the argument.
It’s a private business. You don’t have to go there.

I can see what you’re saying, but Sultans has just lost business from me because of their new system. Actually i was planning a massive bar crawl with about 20-30 people, and we were going to stop there. So it looks like we will be giving that place a miss.

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