Disillusioned Discordian

Budgens’ short lived yet ‘Hi-Tech’ biometric scheme
May 15, 2008, 8:46 am
Filed under: ID Cards / Surveillance

Some bright spark running his franchise of Budgens thought it might be a good idea to pander to neo-labour’s crusade against drinking. Perhaps they hoped to receive some accolade for finding a new way to infringe civil liberties on a whimsical excuse. You can imagine now his smug joy at installing an expensive facial biometric scanning system. Soon they would be happily scanning customers that brought booze and sending their details off to Charton Ltd to be stored on a massive database. The the system would be beeping away, picking out young un’s and allowing adults to prove their age… or so he thought.. of course the only problem was it’s illegal. It might have been obvious that collecting information from minors’ without their permission breached the Data Protection Act, but in their zealous joy to stamp out the evil under age drinking they were blinded. Well my scoop is that following numerous complaints the Franchise that runs Budgens have now distanced themselves:

“The facial recognition equipment recently installed in this Budgens store was in no way commissioned by Musgrave Retail Partners GB but was put into place by the owner of the store.

He has agreed to remove his equipment.”

So it’s a small victory for civil liberties, and the common sense of those that run the Budgens franchise to pull this indivdual owner into line!

[Update] The fact that Budgens distanced themselves from this scheme and blammed it on a ‘rouge’ shop owner acting withing the franchise never was picked up in the media.


2 Comments so far
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The above writer seems to have missed the point & is a little (if not a lot) misinformed. The equipment has not been removed & the equipment is not illegal. Face recognition is not about photography & techonology that recognises facial features without storing pictures is therefore not an infringment against child protection rights. One can’t help but wonder if the above writer is a little peeved because he has to wait until he’s of age now to abuse his body (& no doubt others). Why else would someone be against protecting our children & our society & of course inadvertently speeding up the queue’s at the checkout!?!?!?????

Comment by K Smythe

The Technology has been removed. I have written confirmation from Budgens which shows this. So I’m not misinformed. Check with them yourselves if you don’t take my word, or leave your email and I’ll send you the evidence.

Your second point is wrong because As far as the Data Protection Act 1998 is concerned, biometric data must be handled in the same way as any other personal data and the same principles apply whether or not it is a photo or a digital code that represents the image.

Thirdly i’m well above the legal drinking age. It’s childish and frankly rather idiotic to assume that the only rejection one might have to such a scheme is because they are underage themselves.

I’m all for protecting our children in society, I’m protecting our children from the illegal and intrusive use of surveillance systems. There exists government sanctioned cards to prove your age, this is a totally unnecessary use of technology to solve a problem that can be solved by diligent checking of ID’s by retailers.

If you think it would speed up the queue at the checkout then you are living in a fantasy realm. Just imagine as you have to wait for the system to come back with it’s check on every individual. It would be far quicker just to ask for some ID in person for those that looked under 21.

Comment by moon23

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