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Clubscan given all clear by ICO

Published:  23 July, 2008

UK: ID scanner company given the all clear after concerns were raised about the use of its equipment in pubs and bars.

The company was put under scrutiny when Conservative shadow home affairs secretary James Brokenshire, raised concerns that pubs and clubs were scanning personal data, storing it and circulating it among the on-trade for marketing purposes.

Phil Jones, the director of data protection practice and the assistant commissioner, said: "Having had the equipment demonstrated to us and seen some of the literature users are provided with reminding them of their data protection responsibilities, we are satisfied that the company takes data protection and privacy considerations seriously."

Brokenshire in his letter to the ICO had urged the commissioner to conduct a review of the growing use of identity scanning equipment in clubs and bars across the country.

Brokenshire said: "Whilst I do welcome the use of IT like this to promote increased vigilance on under-age drinking, there is a risk that the data obtained could be mis-used for ID fraud and other criminal activity.

"I also question whether people realise that their personal information is being downloaded and stored when their proof of age identification is being checked.

"Pubs, clubs and bars using this type of equipment must ensure that appropriate security measures are applied to any personal data which is obtained.

"Customers should also be given a clear and informed choice about whether they want their details stored and retained as this goes far beyond proof of age requirements."