By: GZ on Mercoledì 26 Settembre 2007 13:03
una volta nei paesi anglo-sassoni non eri nemmeno obbligato ad avere la carta di identità
ora la sorveglianza elettronico è ovunque, ogni strada di londra ha una telecamera, gli aereporti non ne parliamo, la carta di credito è ovunque e in america per entrare al ristorante devi far passare allo scanner un documento di identificazione
“I Am Not a Number — I Am a Free Man!” from James Wisdom
September 24, 2007
About three years ago a group of friends and I were out at the local Bowling Palace for some strikes and drinks. Upon entering the bar, the bouncer grabbed my driver's license and swiped it through a card-reader before returning it to me and allowing entry. Three weeks later, I started recieving junk-mail from the Bowling Palace.
Fast-forward to a year later. Again with a group of friends, entering a local restaurant for drinks and dining. Inside, a pimply kid is taking IDs and swiping them through a similar reader that is generating paper receipts. Below his chair is a pile of dozens of receipts. I pick one up and observe it contains, among other things, the name and driver's license number of the person being scanned. When my turn comes to be scanned, I refuse. The kid says everyone gets scanned, even my 36-year-old self (my friends say I don't look a day over 40). I refuse again, as do several others in my party. I allow him to carefully examine my ID but not to scan it. He calls the manager.
I tell the manager I won't be scanned because of the 1) lack of security for my personal information (reciepts everywhere) and 2) I don't consent to be entered into their database. Manager says that the information isn't being recorded, the scanner is only for verification. I ask her how she can prove that. Manager says the information won't be used and I won't get mail. I continue to protest, she verifies my ID manually and allows entry.
I follow this with a series of emails to the manager of the restaurant. He tells me the Pennsylvania LCB mandates the scanner and he has no choice in the matter. I say, fine, I'll take it up with them and ask him to provide me with the appropriate contact information at LCB. He does not provide this information. Research with the LCB is futile (typical bureaucracy). I observe that no other local restaurants or bars utilize these scanners.
Fast-forward again to this weekend. Attending a popular restaurant festival in the same town, we connect via cell with a number of friends and agree to meet in the festival's beer garden. As you surely expect by now, entry was barred by bouncers (of the same restaurant), wielding ID scanners attached to PDA's. I refuse to have my ID scanned and am told that "everyone gets scanned." I ask him why. I'm clearly of age and am willing to have my ID examined by a nearby police officer. He refuses, reiterating that "everyone gets scanned".
Since my party is inside, I ask the officer if I can enter temporarily to get my wife. He agrees. Once inside, I schnooker the bracelet guy to get an entry bracelet and stay inside. Everyone did not get scanned (nor did another in my party who followed my lead).
Are we as a society now comfortable providing identification for electronic entry into a database that contains, at a minumum, name, address, and driver's license numbers,for a transaction as simple as entry into a dining establishment? Are we willing to unwittingly "opt-in" to vendors' marketing when compelled to do so under the presumption of verifying our age? Considering the cost of identity theft ($56.6b in 2006), is the officers' reaction justified or naive?
Is this simply the beginning of the completion of the marketing circle where RFID tracks what you do, when you do it, how and with whom, and the messages that you receive all along the way? Have you "been scanned" and how was it positioned to you by staff — and was your visit followed by marketing materials? Or am I just paranoid? Should I be setting up an appointment for a tin-foil hat fitting?
I imagine a world where I have complete control of how my identity is used, and I am appropriately compensated for its use. I am fine with letting marketers track my behavior, tastes and preferences, but I want to be compensated for it. I would happily be the "boy in the bubble" and have every purchase, TV show, radio program, mp3, shopping trip, restaurant selection, web site visit, download, whatever, tracked. But, I know there's value to this and I want control. Crazy or forward-thinking?