Ice Cold Beer and Red Hot Surveillance

by on May 9, 2006 · 10 comments

Your Nanny State and your Big Brother are getting together for a drink – and the drink’s on Intelli-Check. Heineken USA has announced proudly that they are going to use Intelli-Check-equipped mobile scanners to verify the ages of drinkers at events where their products are sold.

Surely, this pleases and appeases groups like Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (but don’t hold your breath for these neo-prohibitionists to settle their war against drinking just because alcohol sellers are encouraging responsibility).

If MADD needed any encouragement to support automated age verification, they must have gotten it along with the corporate contribution that Intelli-Check sent along. Indeed, MADD and Intelli-Check are a team. The Intelli-Check Web site also touts the state laws that give affirmative defenses to merchants who use scanners to prove the age and identity of people purchasing alcohol and tobacco products.

So alcohol sellers are being corralled into electronic identity verification. Young drinkers are being corralled into it too, and being conditioned to carry and show identification as a matter of routine.

Thing is, this routine is the groundwork for the surveillance system that everyone should be concerned with. Particularly as identification is conducted by machine, the opportunities to record information about people expand. Of course, Intelli-Check promotes limits on the use of data that is collected via their scanners but, just as surely, the scanners are technically capable of collecting all data on a card. It’s a simple matter of changing policy to convert the system from age verification to comprehensive surveillance.

Our identification and credentialing systems are designed for the benefit of institutions and not individuals. As I argue in my forthcoming book, these systems should share only the information necessary to complete transactions. Need proof of age? You should be able to provide proof of age, not ID.

The technology already exists. The Clear card proves to the Transportation Security Administration that people are approved to use Registered Traveler lines at the Orlando airport, but it doesn’t identify travelers to the TSA. If the feds can handle that in the national security context, your local ABC should be able to handle it for booze control.

  • mvp

    People should refuse to use these, period. This information could and likely will be used against you. I have no problem showing someone my drivers license, but I have a problem letting them scan my data into their computers.

    Think: Go to a bar, have two drinks, drive home (Not drunk), get pulled over; well how long do you think it will be before they ise Intelli-Check data to verify that you were in a bar purchasing alcoholic beverages?

  • mvp

    People should refuse to use these, period. This information could and likely will be used against you. I have no problem showing someone my drivers license, but I have a problem letting them scan my data into their computers.

    Think: Go to a bar, have two drinks, drive home (Not drunk), get pulled over; well how long do you think it will be before they ise Intelli-Check data to verify that you were in a bar purchasing alcoholic beverages?

  • Darrell

    The sign of the beast is coming, and if we’re not careful, it will be sooner than later. I hope everyone breathing air will refuse to have a computor chip put under thier skin, if they don’t, it’s all over for us. I love my God, my people, and my country, but I am beginning to wonder if we have the right people running things. I want to be in control of me, not them, and if we would start policing ourselves, we wouldn’t have to put up with THEM as much.

  • Darrell

    The sign of the beast is coming, and if we’re not careful, it will be sooner than later. I hope everyone breathing air will refuse to have a computor chip put under thier skin, if they don’t, it’s all over for us. I love my God, my people, and my country, but I am beginning to wonder if we have the right people running things. I want to be in control of me, not them, and if we would start policing ourselves, we wouldn’t have to put up with THEM as much.

  • http://convictedinnocent.blogspot.com Marcellus

    They commonly mistake me for others with the same name, especially with credit. They will use this type of info to establish a history, and the repercussions of error are incredible, especially since our Government is not held accountable for such errors. We don’t need a “Big Brother” or “MADD Mother” running our country let alone our lives. The have nearly abolished our Constitution as it is!

    “In my judgment, such of us as have never fallen victims, have been spared more from the absence of appetite, than from any mental or moral superiority over those who have. Indeed, I believe, if we take habitual drunkards as a class, their heads and their hearts will bear an advantageous comparison with those of any other class.”Abraham Lincoln, 1842

  • http://convictedinnocent.blogspot.com Marcellus

    They commonly mistake me for others with the same name, especially with credit. They will use this type of info to establish a history, and the repercussions of error are incredible, especially since our Government is not held accountable for such errors. We don’t need a “Big Brother” or “MADD Mother” running our country let alone our lives. The have nearly abolished our Constitution as it is!

    “In my judgment, such of us as have never fallen victims, have been spared more from the absence of appetite, than from any mental or moral superiority over those who have. Indeed, I believe, if we take habitual drunkards as a class, their heads and their hearts will bear an advantageous comparison with those of any other class.”Abraham Lincoln, 1842

  • Darrell

    We all need to read an article from spychips.com about the Levi Strauss Company and RFID’s being sewn in thier (our) clothing. It’s entitled, Spychipped Levi’s Brand Jeans Hit the U.S., it’s very scary stuff and it’s happening now, not later. This National ID is just the tip of this iceburg.

  • Darrell

    We all need to read an article from spychips.com about the Levi Strauss Company and RFID’s being sewn in thier (our) clothing. It’s entitled, Spychipped Levi’s Brand Jeans Hit the U.S., it’s very scary stuff and it’s happening now, not later. This National ID is just the tip of this iceburg.

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