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Prying eyes, data collectors and the potential dangers

Posted on January 30, 2020 by Vauxhall Advance

Last week it was announced certain liquor stores in Edmonton will require customers to scan their personal ID before being allowed to enter the store.

If that doesn’t shock you, it should.

We are told ID scanning is all about addressing the number of thefts.

Officials interviewed by the media said daily theft is horrendous and it is difficult to successfully prosecute the perpetrators.

It is gang members stealing in large quantities that appears to be the issue.

There were concerns for the staff and the public and it sounded as though that was meant to make us feel it was worth giving up our privacy in order to buy a bottle of wine. In short, it was for our own good.

The public has every reason to feel this sounds like an admission that police have lost control, gangs are winning.

Rather than address that, it is easier to have law-abiding citizens pay the price.

Apparently the “gangs” are well-known. It’s then fair to ask why a door bouncer could not have kept them out or refused to unlock the door to allow them in.

The personal ID scanning could be a cheap way for the liquor store to avoid paying extra security staff.

If you are not worried about your personal data being collected in a device like this you need to give it some more thought.

This week we recognized the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and world leaders gathered in Jerusalem to commemorate the Holocaust.

It was a lot harder for the Nazis to collect private information on people to categorize them for their purposes.

Our private data is being collected on an unprecedented level, not only recording our ethnicity but almost everything about us that may prove useful depending on someone’s nefarious agenda.

With a few clicks of a keyboard or mouse, data can target any group or individual without cause. Their smartphones will reveal where to find them at any given time.

The idea that you are not a criminal and have nothing to hide and so do not care about people having your data is no argument. The Jews that were put in concentration camps were not criminals either.

Alberta’s privacy commissioner announced yesterday that an investigation is taking place regarding the ID scanning technology at the Alcanna-operated liquor stores. A “timeline for this investigation is not known and a public report may be issued” said a press release. In other words, don’t hold your breath for a verdict on this.

In the last few years, another private technology company launched “face recognition” software that has taken off beyond expectations. Any photo that is on the Internet of you is being collected in this database, even the personal photo you shared with family years ago.

Police are delighted because it helps solve crimes. Stalkers will find it extremely useful, too.

There are no doubt many uses that we are not even aware of yet.

Talk about an invasion of privacy at a basic level – something we used to consider sacred.

Unless the public recognizes what this means and resists it we are heading down a very dark tunnel indeed.

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