UK nightclub uses biometrics to control entry

August 31, 2012 - 

The Underground, a nightclub in Dundee, Scotland, recently installed biometric fingerprint scanners for first time visitors to prove they are of age to enter. For subsequent visits, customers of the nightclub are identified by scanning their fingerprint.

The club is run by G1 Group PLC, who introduced the Scannet ID Scan system after a successful trial period in its Glasgow club. Scannet ID Scan is used to verify that identification presented is real.

Fingerprints gathered, together with photo-based profiles, are stored in computers in the club. Having this technology makes it easier for the management to identify troublemakers, and scan foreign passports and driving licenses before allow entry to the club.

A spokeswoman from G1 Group said : “The system recognizes most international passports and driving licenses, meaning we can accept overseas visitors into our venues, adhering to the Challenge 25 policy.”

Challenge 25 is a retailing strategy in the United Kingdom that encourages anyone who is over 18 but looks under 25 to carry acceptable ID (a card bearing the PASS hologram, a photographic driving license or a passport) if they wish to buy alcohol.

Guy Herbert of NO2ID said the collection of information about nightclubs customers was intrusive. When news of the system got out, it garnered mixed reviews. Some patrons have opposed the system while others understand its merits.

G1 Group said the biometric data they collect are not shared with third parties, except with the police if are conducting a criminal investigation within their clubs. The information is encrypted and stored securely at the premises.

“Scannet ID Scan System helps ensure that all G1 venues are safe for our customers, and allows us to go the extra mile to make sure we are preventing under-age drinking and the use of false ID.”

Would you opt to have your biometrics captured when entering a nightclub?

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About T'ash Spenser

T’ash Spencer writes full time for She has 15 years experience in the field of regional planning and earned her Master’s of Science in Regional Development Planning and Management from the University of Dortmund, Germany. Follow her @tashspencer1.