From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
Scannable Driver's Licenses

March 22, 2002 10:07 AM

Scannable Driver's Licenses.

Nightclubs are starting to scan driver's licenses as an alternative way of checking IDs at the door. I've seen this at Vertigo's in Downtown LA and the House of Blues in Downtown Disney.

At first, this seems like a reasonable way to take the guess work out of checking IDs. I've been burned before where a doorman refused to let me in because he thought my real ID was fake. It's weird how you react to stuff like that. It's humorous, obnoxious, embarassing and flattering all at the same time. So, taking the human element out of this process makes sense, right?

Wrong. Guess what else can be swiped from that card? Name, address, birth date, sex, height, weight, eye color, whether you wear glasses, and in some states, your social security number.

While America is debating the merits of a national ID system, this kind of thing is flying under the radar. The federal government is even getting involved to sync up all the different state driver's licenses.

Scanning will undoubtedly spread like wildfire through the nightclub scene, since it can be used as a great marketing tool. The only thing else they need is an email address and your favorite drink. Meanwhile, there's yet another database with your name in it. I'm not sure which makes me more frightened: being in Vertigo's database, or Disney's.

So, the next time a doorman wants to scan your ID, Just Say No!

After all, it worked for the war on drugs, right?

More from the archive in Privacy.

Scannable Driver's Licenses (03.22.2002)

Next Entry: $150 million (03.23.2002)
Previous Entry: God Changes Everything (03.21.2002)

Jim Gilliam
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