Privacy Commissioner, Karen Curtis, is warning CIOs of pubs and clubs around Australia to be aware of privacy obligations to their patrons.
It is commonplace for pubs and clubs to request identification of patrons as they enter a venue, however Curtis has warned that patrons’ information could be divulged to a third party if proper security procedures are not adhered to.
“ID scanning, fingerprinting and iris scans are becoming increasingly common at pubs and clubs, and I am not convinced that all venues understand what their privacy obligations are when using these technologies,” she said in a statement.
“The digitised information these technologies offer has the potential to be used or disclosed for many other purposes, such as direct marketing and the creation of databases, as well as the risk of facilitating identity fraud.”
The warning comes as Privacy Awareness Week draws to a close.
Max Cowan, head of marketing at the Panthers Group, said that the club use traditional forms of security rather than scanning patrons’ ID.
“We don’t do it because it is not practical to use,” he said. “Even if someone’s licence is scanned, it still needs to be checked.”
The club’s procedure requires visitors to show their ID to club security and sign a guest book when they enter the premises.
The Privacy Commissioner urges both consumers and club owners to review newly-released guidance material if they are unsure of their rights and responsibilities with regards to scanning technology and privacy.