back to article Private ID scans leave fetish club-goers feeling exposed

A security clampdown at a London club provides a troubling glimpse of the extent of privatised monitoring brought about by government policy. A Reg reader drew our attention to complaints that visitors to fetish club Torture Garden must now hand over personal details before they are allowed to enter. Our follow-up …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Looks like it's time for everyone to get some fake id - so where's the local terrorist cell that sells the stuff?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Moving to the Centre

    It is always at the periphery that this sort of surveillance is brought in. Gradually it become more acceptable and accepted in mainstream society, Gramsci's idea of cultural hegemony I believe. Pretty soon you'll need ID to use the toilet, and people will say what happened?

  3. Gordon Pryra

    May as well just ring up your contact in Lagos

    And give him all the personal details he asked for on his e-mail, it will be a race then between who is going to either steal your identity and cash or loose it on the train.

    English criminals, Nigerian scammers or

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Rubber ball

    If they hold the rubber ball there later this year and this policy is still in place I will have to seriously reconsider attending....

  5. M7S

    Slight problem here

    "all persons entering the premises".

    So if I am called to a casualty there whilst on duty as an ambulance person, I have to provide my data? Not on your nelly. I can imagine security holding up any raid by the police on the same grounds, because if they dont, the police will claim at the next licencing meeting they were not complying with the terms and conditions.....

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "It is password-protected, and we have had no complaints about its inherent security."

    Two of the most asinine assurances ever trotted out, anywhere. How many times have we heard versions of these statements before? "The laptop is secure because we had a BIOS password set" or "nobody has ever complained about the food here before"? Even if it's true that there's a password feature, how do we know that the passwords were well chosen? How many people have access to the password? Even more importantly, how can the club be trusted not to just pass or sell on the copied ID details? Having a password has practically nothing to do with the security of the data stored. And don't get me started on the "nobody has complained about it before" quote. Even if it were true, it's deliberately belittling what could very well be a justified complaint ... which should be judged on its merits. Any place that gives bad service and has the gall to suggest that the problem is somehow my fault deserves to lose my custom.

  7. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    I'm not at all happy...

    about a licence for premises that requires the organiser to maintain so many details. The *premises* don't need to know who I am and where I live etc, they just need to know *whether I am entitled to enter*. And that could be done with a much smaller dataset, perhaps managed by a trusted third party: I lodge minimum details with the third party, the premises get a magic number from me which they pass to the ttp; the ttp says 'yep, he's old enough to go in'.

    The premises don't see my name and suchlike; I provide no more information than is necessary.

    The only reason that the full ID is required is so the authorities can track me. Surely they wouldn't do that?!"£$%^&****+++NO SIGNAL

  8. Tom


    "all persons entering the premises".

    I imagine it says "all patrons" or something similar. There will be exemptions in it.

  9. censored

    Vote with your wallet...

    I will not enter a premises that demands ID. I will not buy from a shop that demands ID.

    I am an adult. I am legally allowed to buy alcohol and to visit licenses premises. If an organisation or individual licensee won't let me do these things, then I will go to someone who will.

    It might well be a Met condition, but they sure as hell can't impose it on everyone, and there'll be a hell of a backlash if venue owners see trade drop off.

  10. Secretgeek

    First they came for the masochistics....

    ...and found them tied up and being whipped by a Madam in 6 inch stillettoes and a rubber catsuit. And more than willing to be waterboarded.

    As for the sadists, well they came for those...

    ...and gave them uniforms.

    Mine's the rubber one thanks.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It is a club, clubs have members, members have to prove they are members on entering. It is exactly the same when I go to Riley's. What am I missing?

  12. The Mole
    Thumb Down

    Kept for three years

    Huh, where in the data protection act does it say they have to keep the data for three years? In fact it says the opposite - data should only be kept for the reasonable period of time that it is needed. 6 months I could vaguely understand to give the police time to bother to investigate crimes. This is even more the case as attendence at certain events would give pretty good evidence for your sexuality and hence be counted as sensitive personal information (yes I know not everyone who goes to a gay disco is necessarily gay but it is fair to assume most people are)

  13. Fredly


    As we all know, those who run night clubs are all, every one of them, fine upstanding members of the community with no links to the criminal world. There will never be an issue with these people knowing the address of people in their nightclub with their home empty will there?

  14. Mike Crawshaw
    Thumb Down

    Say what???

    "verifies the age and validity of your customers whilst building a unique data base enabling you to monitor, manage and market to your clientele".

    Yeah, I'm sure that people attending the Torture Garden will want monitoring and managing. And obviously, we don't want invalid customers. As for "marketing to"? WTF? "No dear, I don't know why I keep getting money-off vouchers for"

    If this is the *positive* selling point, my <insert deity / supernatural tooth fairy of choice here>, we're in trouble...

  15. Anonymous Coward

    crime link

    So on the one hand we have private organizations with known historical links to organised crime being given license to store personal information; and on the other hand we have no evidence that introducing electronic checks will reduce crime.

    This was apparently kicked off by a shooting. As others have said: the serious crim will have plenty of fake or stolen IDs, and this will only result in granny's door being kicked in by mistake, or police searching for a Mr "Prawo Jadzy", serial offender.

    Meanwhile, decent, law-abiding citizens will have been forced to hand over passport, driving license and home address details to goodness knows who. And our ever-caring HO and Met are saying "not our problem guv". Lovely.

    Bottom line: its just another attempt to force ID cards on us, you wait, soon enough some HO shill will popup with an executive order requiring all "pervert club" visitors to hold IDs, then all "late night club" visitors, then....

  16. Anonymous Coward


    If I were an identity thief, I would wonder where to send the roses for such a wonderful idea. Surely, the government must be commended.

    People will go to clubs _expecting_ to have their IDs scanned. Some clever hardware modification and social engineering would be all that's required to get hundreds or thousands of IDs per night (assuming multiple clubs are involved).

  17. Jon


    Man, I miss that place. One of the best club events I can think of. Went to many-a Synergy night there.

    Never got to goto TortureGarden though. The thought of travelling on the Tube in a gimp suit wasn't particularly plesant.

  18. Cameron Colley

    Why should the government care?

    If they tried to prevent crime or terrorism then they wouldn't be able to create FUD and more people would see them for the thieves and murderers they are.

    RE: Club

    You gave someone your passport number and full personal details just so you could drink somewhere? Did you not realise that we don't live in an Arab Emirate and it's not required that you prove your identity before you're allowed to buy alcohol?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    False name and address

    I prefer to give anyone asking for my name and address who doesn't have the legal authority to demand it "Winston Smith, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, WILMSLOW SK9 5AF" in the hope that anyone abusing the data (why else would they want it) gets a nice surprise. Works a treat with thicko London Underground staff when a periodically replace my unregistered Oyster pre-pay.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    So, all we need is an MP or two with BDSM tendencies....

    ...and then arrange for the ever-so trustworthy club door staff to pass on details of their attendance and peccadilloes to the red tops and this nasty little scheme should end up being buried once and for all. A cabinet minister or two getting outed this way would be handy too, don't you think?

    Paris, she knows about being outed.....

    AC, well, you know why!

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    police requested?

    Police? These are the same lot that killed two men and lied about both incidents and cover up their badges and hide their faces?

    They are not the elected leaders and you can't vote them out so they should not be making the rules for people that have no say in those rules.

  22. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Down

    One way or another we'll monitor you...

    Speaking as someone who makes and supplies BDSM gear (including, almost certainly, to some of the patrons of TG) and someone who has attended many Fetish Events for the last ten years or so, I can remember maybe three or four incidents of trouble over that time.

    What I can also recall is several incidents where club goes have been "outed" by the gutter press, for instance when the News of the Screws did an "expose" of The Bridge which resulted in a woman teacher being sacked even though what she was doing in private had absolutely nothing to do with her job.

    Now imagine the damage they could do to people if they managed to infiltrate TG or SE One and get their hands on the membership list.

    The fact that the Home Office and the Police seem to think that this isn't their problem just shows how little they really care about the security of our data, they are just interested in foisting these systems on more and more people under the guise of "licensing requirements" or other such excuses.

    Their aim is, of course, simply to get people used to this as part of the creeping expansion of the surveillance society, along with fingerprinting in schools and pubs being told to put in CCTV on the door or they won't get their licences renewed, so they can eventually sneak in ID cards and the National Identity Register by the back door.

  23. Simon B

    secure - honest - no really ... sound familiar?

    My interpretion:

    In the case of the SEOne set-up, a spokesman told us that:

    only senior management can access it = Anyone higher than a bouncer can access it.

    tinformation on the system is password-protected = Password is probably "password"!

    Equipment is removed from the front door when the club is shut and locked in a secure place. = The janitors cupboard with the cheap lock on it.

  24. Anonymous Coward

    "will do their best"??

    If your eyes haven't start bleeding by the time you reach it in the semi-literate ramblings on the Torture Garden site, you will see that Packspring "will do their best to keep your information secure".

    So that's all right then.

    It also assures patrons that their information will not be kept longer than is necessary - and then gives a MINIMUM time!

    And I agree with The Mole - it's just another example of the DPA being used to excuse anything

  25. Seán

    No Fat Chicks

    Put a damn weighing scales at the door and no one would complain.

  26. JimC
    Black Helicopters

    < Agescan

    Must be wonderful to be a cornershop these days... If you refuse fags and booze to the local gang of 15 year olds then they smash your shop in regularly, insurance premiums go through the roof and you go out of business, or if you don't refuse them then the Trading standards come and close you down and you go out of business...

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Trust Us because we are better then you

    This is brill, why not just say it the way it is...

    "Your government believe that all UK residents are criminals, so have decided to rename the country to HMP GB, every one must report to a police station daily so we can download your personal data log and charge you for what ever counts as an infringement that day"

    "this is for your security, If you've done nothing wrong, you have nothing to worry about, if you disagree you are a TERRORIST"

  28. Dave


    How often are we going to start seeing a pre-entry screening stand set up?

  29. Anonymous Coward


    Well, that's TG out for me. Wonder what Bizarre'll make of this?

    How come we're giving our details to the club owners, people who aren't exactly known for being the most upstanding of citizens? Sorry to tar them all with the same brush, there's probably a load of good ones out there. It's just that no-one's met them.

    How will it verify that I'm me, anyway? If I had a fake Angolan passport (i.e. one they're unlikely to have seen before) in the name of, say, "Anonymous Coward" that looked legit enough to pass the gaze of the bouncer, would they be able to check if it was genuine? And wouldn't that be a serious security problem for the Passport system?

    Come to think of it, how would they check ANY of it without seriously impacting the security of surrounding systems, given the low level of trust that should be assigned to these people? And without checks, how can it possibly be expected to work beyond "someone claiming to be this person entered the building at this time"?

    This is a stupid system.

    As the TG wasn't involved in the shooting, couldn't it be exempted from the licensing requirements?

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    A recap: nobody in central government of the police has anything to do with this, but they're quite happy it's being done. It's all down to some PR happy local councillor looking to make a name for himself.

    I bet the 'lads from lagos' will be looking forward to the fruits of this hitting the market.

    How long before we need to swipe/press/spit/stare to buy a pint of milk in the corner shop?

    Paris; maybe a little ridiculous, but not evil and ridiculous

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    "From a pure disorder prevention perspective, there is much to be said for these devices."

    I'm sure there is. Personally I thought the point of a club was to get a bit disorderly. Frankly, I like a bit of disorder in my society, especially when removing it neatly snips away our freedoms too.

    Disorder, non-compliance, these things are vital to any reasonable society. When everyone has to follow the rules, you need someone better than a politician or a club owner coming up with them.

    I can imagine that there will be a lot of TG attendees who would be uncomfortable with this data being leaked. Not all, but some.

  32. Paul


    Club, as in NightCLUB, not as in members club. D'oh.

  33. Kevin

    What disgusting perverts...

    ... these voyeuristic ID card imposing obsessives are.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Somebody is lying

    'police requested a licensing condition that in future, "all persons entering the premises must supply verifiable identification details that are passed through a digital scanning and recording system such as Club Scan, Idvista or similar computerised system". '

    'Besides, the decision to install was taken by clubs or by local licensing authorities: it is not the Met’s responsibility.'

    Some barstard is lying through their gritted teeth.

    But with all of their preveious history of cover ups and lies, do you expect anything else from the police?

  35. dave

    I can see the complaints now....


  36. Anonymous Coward

    ID Scan

    I'm not sure how much trust I'd put in a company that claims "Considerable attention has been paid to seeking to ensure the data captured is held securely" and then publishes screenshots apparently showing real personal identifiable information (names, addresses, photographs) in their marketing material.

  37. Anonymous Coward

    They've just lost customers

    I was planning to attend the next TG event which is at SEone, but I certainly won't be going now. And the people I was going to go with almost certainly won't be attending now either. This is pretty scary stuff and I'm glad I hadn't already bought my tickets.

    It's extremely worrying how quickly 1984 (the book/film) is becoming a reality in this country.

  38. Steve Evans
    Black Helicopters

    The middle road...

    Surely the middle road solution here would be for the scanning equipment to not be quite so complex... What if it was just an optical scanner of sorts or a digi cam... Take a picture of the person, take a picture of the ID. Everything is stored as an image (and only ever an image) which will reduce the datamining ability to pretty much zero. Keep the pictures for say 6 months, then delete.

    This system (c) 2009 by me, can read any and every ID that is human readable.

    If there is any problem, well it won't take long to look through the pictures and ID the trouble makers. In fact unless the IDs currently being used contain details like hair colour and number of facial piercings, this step will have to be performed even with their current system.

  39. Secretgeek

    @AC 13:40

    Re: 1984 - I think we should all be grateful that we live in a time when we can actually see fiction become reality. A horrific, soul-destroying, prison of a reality to be sure but nonetheless quite interesting to watch from the perspective of anyone awake enough to be aware of what's going on e.g. anyone with more than just glimmer of sense.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    What about this then???

    Ok, I haven't got that much of a problem with this EXCEPT;

    1.) When I enter the premises, I must be informed of the club owners name, home address, experience with sensitive data, whether he or she has a criminal record and previous job experience o and of course, I want to know your bloody nationality as I can pretty much sum up what your like based on where your from. Discrimination? I guess it is!

    2.) If my property is robbed while I just happen to be in the club, the club owner is soely responsible as it is also apparent to me that passing such information on to his or her buddies such as Mr / Mrs / Miss XYZ is in my club and NOT at home. Go on boys, rob it and I will go halves! seems very likely.

    3.) You lick my feet first!

  41. Michael

    Lets hope ...

    ...Jacqui Smith or David Cameron don't show up on this!

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ignoring the S&M angle...

    The requirement that ID is produced is yet another example of the problem our lords and masters have with crime prevention. That problem being that they don't realise that the criminal classes are likely to carry false ID.

    Lets imagine that there was an incident at the club. So the authorities are handed a record of the ID of everybody who entered the club via the front door. A fat lot of use that will be, because in most cases the perp will have either shown false or fake ID or have entered without showing ID.

    It's not particulalry uncommon for ne'erdowells to enter clubs via the fire exit. A group of people club together to pay the entry fee for one person then that person lets his mates in via the fire exit.

  43. Anonymous Coward

    This seriously calls for the:

    "papers, citizen!"

    I'm sorry, but the ones responsible for this are more sorry.

  44. Michael Fremlins

    Yet again it's the police MAKING the law

    The police should learn to shut up and enforce existing laws, not make it through the back door.

  45. Kieron McCann

    er, obvious solution

    move it to a new venue.

  46. Fred


    We the people -

    stand within the ruins of once proud society,

    it has become jail, a jail intended to out live us all.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yet another reason

    Yet another reason why I will never visit GB again in my lifetime! The Home Office might as well mandate that everyone gets an RFID tag embedded in their body at birth! Shades of the Apocalypse! What dren! Personally, I have absolutely zero interest in S&M or most kinky sex, but the next thing you know is that they will want a sample every time you go potty, so as to drug test you I suppose.

  48. Colonel Panic

    223 different IDs

    The system can read 223 different IDs - presumably one is a Palace of Westminster pass ? That'll come in handy for expenses....

  49. N

    Is this run

    By Jacqui Smith?

    It sounds just right up her street, or was it her sisters

  50. JMB

    Police State

    Wasn't there a report a few months ago about the police getting licensing authorities in London to insist that any licensed premises have CCTV. No law to say that it is necessary but you don't get a licence if no CCTV. The police will say that it is the licensing authority's decision but they are doing it because of pressure from the police.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    secure my arse!

    As someone who works in a related industry in terms of membership management systems I have never come across a secured database that our conversion team could not crack.

    For around $20 you can buy software that will expose passwords for every database product on the market.

    So what if they lock the box up, doesnt mean that others dont have access to it when its unlocked. For example a staff member who wants to open there own club simply USB sticks the database and Bob's your uncle hes off.

    Black helicopters as we know who will be losing the data

  52. Dave Bell

    Target for tonight

    I don't expect anything illegal to be happening at these events, but the police have routinely been against unconventional sexualities. Sometimes they've had better reasons to want to keep some control.

    I'm not sure I'd trust the police on this, or a third-party club management operation. I've been to big events with some pretty solid identifying of attendees. But I've been identified as part of the community, because people know me, not because I've had to satisfy some requirement to wave an ID over a sensor.

    No way am I going to flaunt my sexuality, or my bad puns, anywhere near this sort of security. I don't trust the set-up, and that's an essential. I want to feel safe, and this just wouldn't do that.

  53. Anonymous Coward

    Slippery slope

    This is a slippery slope going towards what they have in America. They are that shit scared of serving someone under the age of 21 and losing their license that everyone needs id in a lot of establishments. Common sense has been removed from the process, I was going into a nightclub in Hawaii once and a friend of mine who lives locally told be that everyone needs ID or they won't get in, here were guys in their 50's who had to show ID, amazing. Once I left my passport in my hotel and ordered a beer with my food at some restaurant in Hollywood and they flat out refused to serve me alcohol even though I am obviously in my thirties - fucking crazy morons !

  54. Secretgeek

    ...'through the back door.'


    I'm so childish.

  55. Stephane Mabille
    Thumb Down



    Beside the obvious privacy reasons, there are clear commercial objections too:

    SEOne, like other places is "rented" (not totally true as, if I'm right, they are still running the bars (and its income)) by organisers to have THEIR event. In the party business the customers details are very valuable. Most promoters will be very reluctant to have to provide them to the club owner.

    Luminopolis (former Synergy project) used to take place at SEOne, has been temporarily suspended until a comparable venue (large, with enough rooms for the indoor festival) for the ID requierement... They have a large number of NGO stalls presents including NO2ID, so the choice was obvious.

  56. Anonymous Coward


    Another fantastic idea by our (secret) police...

    - You are going to a techno party, you'll have to be a drug user and expect a warrant within 48 hours

    - You are going to a gay club, don't worry it's in your file

    - You are going to a punk concert, you are a dangerous anarchist

    - You are going to arab music, left wing, or basically anything not sponsored by the BNP/Met you are a dangerous terrorist and need to be arrested/deported/tortured/beaten up.

    * The latest is also valid if you are Newspaper seller (Journalist are only subject to arbitrary arrest (for the moment - we are working on it))

  57. Nick L

    Ah, I remember it when it was just an underground car park which was rented out for parties.

    then it became a proper underground club - The Drome. Memories of many happy nights there ...

    then it became a mainstream club - SE1

    and now it's just another arm of the government.

    Thanks for the warning guys, I'll know not to go to any events at SE1 any more.

  58. Ryan
    Thumb Down

    Yet another case of the .gov chipping away at my livelihood

    As the manager of a pub and club I can say whole heartedly that the government is trying to shut down all forms of public drinking.

    The smoking ban has damaged us in a huge way (the pub side of things more than the club. Also this isn't a place for a pro/anti smoking argument so stop right there people). My club and pub is wonderfully violence free as it is aimed towards the rock/alternative side of things who are more interested in getting drunk and rocking out rather than your average chav who enjoys nothing more than a bit of knuckle dragging and bashing people in the face. Yet when I renewed my entertainment licence last year I was told to install CCTV in the entire premises or the licence wouldn't be granted despite the fact we have to call the police maby 4 times a year and thats usually when we have some chavs visiting the kebab shop over the road about the same time the club kicks out.

    We for the last 4 years have always refused entry to the club without photo ID (Driving licence/Passport) which is one of the main reasons we don't get too much violence as we know that anyone that does cause trouble has ID on them for if/when we hand them over to the police. The thought of holding onto any data from my punters is abhorrent to me, my only concerns are the safety of my customers and of my licence by not serving underage kids.

    Don't even get me started on the noise limiters they are trying to introduce... and as someone said, clubs are supposed to be a bit rowdy, for me that goes for live music and a good pub if I want a quiet night I'll bugger off down some resturaunt/bar combo.

  59. Eduard Coli

    Welcome to Airstrip One

    It's ugly brinkmanship.

    First it's clubs like this then when you want to enter your house.

    Then there is the inner circle, who will be excluded from IS checks, royals, nobles, judges, police, etc.

    What kind of dirt will company xyz who installed the system be able to sell?

    Bend over so the Home Office can insert the camera and microphone.

  60. Chris King

    It's not just a data protection issue...

    Why bother stealing the scanned data, when you can pick someone's pocket and lift their actual passport, driving licence or whatever ID they had to use to get into the club in the first place ?

    (Unless everybody's using fake ID to get in ?)

    Mine's the one with the anti-RFID lining, thank you...

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    What qualifies as an ID?

    I might just go into the internet mail-order ID business. Send me your name, DOB, address, and whatever information you want to appear on your ID, along with a sworn statement attesting to the veracity of your claims and fifty quid, and I'll mail you an 'Officicial' Simplified Universal Card - Identification, Total (SUC-IT)

    Use that card as "proof" to facilitate registration for official IDs, club entrances, and the like.

    Now I just need to register "Offcicial Identification Co."

  62. Richard Neill

    who do the @#*&%* Met think they are?

    Really, it's time we made these policemen realise they are the SERVANTS of the people, not our masters. The police must not have the power to require others to demand ID; furthermore, it should actually be illegal for the clubs to do so.

  63. John Smith Gold badge

    Anyone remember mandatory CCTV as a "Licensing condition?"

    If this is not a "Members" club then its a venue with (I presume) a slightly more specific dress code than most.

    If a true members club the only ID would be to confirm the person coming in has the same details as their membership list.

    And BTW. This restriction seems to be on the venue, not the club promoters. It would seem the right thing to do is for the promoters to find a new venue.

    I've thought about going but will now be passing it up. The difference between a club and a members club would likely be lost if anyone is known to have been there.

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Doesn't this actually BREAK the Data Protection Act?

    AFAIK, you must be informed of the purpose for what your information is recorded, the information may not be used for other purposes, you have right to your information and they should not collect more than is strictly required for the purposes indicated - and you have to be informed of your rights pertaining to this information.

    1 - were visitors informed for what EXACT purpose the info was collected? I don't think so. It will make one hell of a queue, and long queues will make for many people who go elsewhere.

    2 - as no purpose was formally stated, hello breach #2. Fines, anyone?

    3 - it would be soooo much fun if everyone asked for what is held on the database. Sure, you have to part with 10 quid (I would actually complain to the Information Commissioner because it's too expensive for just a copy of your license) but if everyone does it you have a denial of service attack - they have only 40 days. Imagine this happens in volume every time the system is used, especially if the Commissioner decides it's not worth 10 quid a throw. The y would eventually lose track which results in complaints and fines. And the human effort costs money too. And they can't ban you for askin because that again infringes on your rights.

    4 - I have yet to be convinced it is actually required to STORE the information. Check it for underage, fine - it's a massive fine if they miss one, but why store it? For who? For what purpose? To save the government spending money on a man doing inspection? F*ck that - if they want to know they're welcome to put some effort in, that why you pay a premise license fee after all.

    5 - hello breach #3 - not as much as a brochure (which costs money - another nail in the coffin).

    Gents, if this stuff pisses you off you should simply start gaming the system. Read up on the laws and hit every weakness. Obligations must be met - fine, ask for your rights in volume. BS is being told during collection - tell them where exactly they can measure biometrics (risk: may be followed up at an BDSM club) and leave. Cash is king - if the system starts costing too much in lost business and compliance obligations it will soon go. And it should.

    This stuff only works because you agree to it. Sure, you may miss a party. Is that really a hard choice: one party or slowing down the completion of the UK panopticon?

    Don't talk, do.

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward



    By Anonymous Coward Posted Friday 24th April 2009 11:43 GMT

    It is a club, clubs have members, members have to prove they are members on entering. It is exactly the same when I go to Riley's. What am I missing?"

    It is not a private members club which requires members details to be held and guests to be signed in. This is a night club event. No one has to present ID and have that ID recorded in a night club.

    The issue is, particularly for a club of this sort, that the personal information is abused.

    I will tell you now, the Labour government would love to get their hands on that data, particular for people into bondage and other what they would describe as sexual perversions.

    It's only a matter of time, the Police would be instructed by the home secretary to raid individuals homes on the false pretext of looking for signs of child abuse.

    All sorts of people will be targetted, those that have government security clearance that attend fetish, bdsm related events will be targetted and probably lose their jobs over it.

    This is an infringment of civil liberties and must be stopped.

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Surely if TG had any sense...

    Then it would move its events to another venue which doesn't have this ID system requirement? Wouldn't the licensee have given TG advance notice of this new requirement so that TG could consult with its clientelle rather than have them turn up and find themselves faced with "No ID handover, no entry!"

  67. Tom

    How long before

    They decide that all the scanners should link up to a central database?

  68. n

    "the law?...we are the law"

    Yes i was scanned/scammed.

    I went to an ordinary nightclub near Leicester square for the first time and they asked for ID, the bouncer looked at it as is normal, then stepped to the side behind another bouncer who shielded from view (they would say secured)the device, and then he dropped it through a small dark device like a letterbox, then handed it back.

    Nobody said to me they would be scanning it, doing icr on it, running facial recognition software on it, then pimping all the data.

    There were no signs anywhere saying they would be doing this to me.

    It was all a bit sneaky.

    And once its done, it's done. You can't ask for your data back. You can't expect to ask the bouncer to discuss the finer points of the data protection act !

    The staff on the inside also had some questionable behaviour also, but i don't want to put anyone off their dinner!

    I fear for my data in the hands of these goons.

    It feels like you have been data-raped before you even step into the club....what a real mood killer on the stop....cloakroom charge wallet-rape.......wonder if the drink is reasonably priced?....bend over'll get the hang of this sooner or later...

  69. Alexander Hanff

    Registered with ICO under DPA?

    Anyone else managed to find a registration as a data controller for SEOne Club?

    I have searched by name, address and postcode, but so far I have not managed to find a registration in ICOs database. Are SEOne Club owned by another company or something?

    Of course if one doesn't exist, then SEOne Club have broken the law and personally it is my opinion that the law police should be seen as complicit.

  70. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    Obvious what will happen

    The club will decline as members decide to take their interests elsewhere, somewhere most likely with far less safety regulations and someone will get seriously injured, with no hope of legal redress.

    So the next thing will be that we now have to submit personal details in order to enter any entertainment establishment, music clubs, pubs, bars, even the local pub beer garden! Welcome to the UK in the 21st century, just like all those sci-fi movies predicted our wonderful Utopia would be, yeah Brazil and Blade Runner!

    Do yourselves a favour if you want to see someone poke fun at the absurdity of the government's ideas, get the latest Mark Thomas DVD ,Serious Organised Crime, someone showing how absolutely pathetic this government really is. The quicker Brown gets booted the better, we might 5 mins peace before the next mob start screwing up, just like Gordo.

  71. Andrew Fraser

    Paranoia, the real life game

    You seem unhappy citizen.. Would you like some drugs?

    Happiness is mandatory! Unhappiness is treason!

    Our scans indicate that you are partaking in subversive activities, and you have been flagged as a terrorist, please stay still while we execute you.

    Your Friend, the Computer err UK government

    If you Don't get the reference

    look here

    And here

  72. Frederick Karno

    ID theft

    Thge scanner might comply with as many regulations as you want but the security of the data being held for a so called 3 years ..............

    I am now on a 12 monthly basis going to write to all government departments and all companies that i deal with for an update on what data they hold on me through the freedom of information act .

    If enough people do this they will grind to a halt....

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Fetishist are born free, but everywhere they are in chains!

  74. Anonymous Coward

    Never fear...

    With the current economic situation the police and other big brother snoopers will shortly all have their finances cut to within an inch of their lives. They will then be spending all their time justifying their existence to government-appointed hatchet men anxious to deprive them of their staff and salaries in the name of "efficiency savings". This will leave them with no time to provide any sort of service to their "customers", never mind snoop on them.

    Many readers probably won't be old enough to remember that this is what happens during a prolonged recession, but eventually it does, believe me. Funding carnage in our less agreeable (and over-staffed) public institutions is now unavoidable - and not before time in my view.

    I'm particularly looking forward to the announcement that the national ID card scheme has been scrapped (to save money, obviously, although this will be denied) as this will signal the start of the real backlash against the big brother state.

    It's an ill wind... as they say.

  75. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Down

    @Kieron McCann

    "er, obvious solution - move it to a new venue"

    Brilliant, Kieron, why didn't anyone else think of that?

    Of course you'll already know just how easy it is to find a venue that's happy to host fetish events, that won't charge ridiculous rents and possibly a "per head" fee on top, that's accessible, that's not booked solid with other events...?

  76. Bob Dunlop

    Thanks for the warning

    As others have already said, thanks for the warning guys.

    Been to a few SEOne events in the past but guess I'll visit them no more.

    Don't want my details associated with any sort of marketing database.

    I have government photo ID, with home address verified by a physical police visit, but I'll only show that to someone for the purpose for which it was issued. That's not strictly true, I once used my shotgun certificate to gain access to a lap dancing club, bet that put a skew on the database.

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    @ "the law?...we are the law"

    No, what happened there was illegal, and you should follow this up with a formal complaint to the Information Commissioner. See previous email about ID registration being a potential breach of the Data Protection Act. The DPA 1998 does not (AFAIK) make any exceptions based on WHY the data is collected, the rules still apply.

    As a matter of fact, it's not "should" - it's MUST. You have no idea why they made a copy, you were not informed they were going to do it and the next time this happens you may consider calling the police as your natural assumption would then be (as it's unannounced and unmotivated) that they are busy with identity theft - a bit like credit card cloning.

    The resulting stink would be very entertaining to watch - there is no rule you have to mention your name, you're just tipping off the police :-).

    Honestly, as I said before, you guys are *waaaaaay* too meek. Revolt. Play the system so you throw spanners in it without them being able to do anything about it other than abandon it.

    Watch "V for Vendetta" (not to re-enact, it's rather OTT) as a sample of what you're heading for. The only difference is that that film appears to have been made with Thatcher in mind, but New Labour has turned out to be so much worse it will probably need a remake of that movie just to get it to be "future" again. The speakers: they're there. The marching army: see G20. Heck, in the movie they hadn't quite come up with CCTV yet. The tiran: a slimmer version of Gordon Brown, but just as ugly. The methods: remarkably similar other than letting loose a home made plague, but give them time.

    Act - given the bleating, you're sheep already. Baaaah.

  78. Anonymous Coward

    Data Protection Act

    "A spokesman added that data is retained on the system for three years, in order to comply with the Data Protection Act."

    The Data Protection Act does not *require* them to hold the data for any amount of time.

    Quite the reverse, it requires that they they only hold it for a reasonable length of time for the purpose for which they have collected it.

    Why it is reasonably necessary to hold data about who attended a nightclub for three years is beyond me.

  79. Olipro
    Thumb Up

    Must install equipment as part of your license

    I don't run a club, but if I did... sure, I'll install the IDing equipment... but... oh look at that, the bloody IDing machine is on the fritz for the 300th night running (since we opened 300 nights ago), isn't that a shame, bouncers will just have to check the IDs manually.

  80. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: ID theft - that reminds me

    Actually, not a bad idea. There was a great story along these lines on the BBC world service a year or so ago. Some film maker/activist type made a movie out of clips from CCTV obtained under DPA rules. The deal was: the "actors" would go somewhere with CCTV, hang around a bit doing this and that making sure the cameras could see them. Later on they'd make a DPA request to whoever ran the security cameras for "any data held" on them, which the rules say includes CCTV footage. Once obtained, the footage was strung into some sort of narrative.

    The point of course was putting the security people on the spit. Most didn't have a clue what their obligations were, or tried to charge a small fortune for searching through and making copies of the "material". She put a lot of them right on that score and they were left with little choice. Needless to say it took up a lot of time for people who woud otherwise be barking "you can't do that" to photographers with "large" cameras.

    Sadly, I missed the start of the programme, so didn't get names or details and googling it hasn't helped much.

    Ever since, I've been thinking that a concerted, well organised mass campaign of CCTV disobedience based around such DPA requests for footage or whatever data they have could wreak absolute havoc, highlight the way data is being held and the poor implementation of the act.

    At the least, it would be a pleasurable and costly revenge on those who view everything as an opportunity to exercise petty power and harvest data for no good reason.

  81. Charles Smith
    Paris Hilton

    If you don't like it

    If you don't like continued expansion of intrusion by HMG and the police write to your local MP and complain. Remind them that you will hold them responsible for the destruction of freedom in this country. If each MP received those type of letters from say 100 unique people each week the concerns might start sinking through their layers of expenses fat.

  82. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    and what when they're also going to...

    Keep this data and use it with those other nice DBs so that when they come for your kids in the middle of the night (leaving the kid they were actually supposed to be picking up, similar name, four doors down) there will be 'proof' that you aren't fit to be a parent so they don't have to disclose their mess-ups and can pretend like it was really your child they were protecting instead of the sorry little mite that's still sitting alone at home after a week.

    'But you went clubbing THREE TIMES last month. THREE TIMES. And one of them was a gay club too, definitely not fit.'

  83. Anonymous Coward

    @ anonymous coward

    Hmm. plenty of people posting here as AC. A quick reminder: You are not really anonymous on this forum. Just because you've posted as AC, doesn't mean that EL Reg doesn't know who you are.

    They (El Reg) still have to hand out your info to police requests (and I'm guessing that they are very interested in this site).

    You have been warned. Use throwaway accounts from non-verifiable ip's (low camera usage areas, internet cafe's with woefully lax security, anonymous proxy's, etc).


    (It's not whether you're paranoid. It's whether you're paranoid enough!)

  84. Anonymous Coward


    Is the data encrypted when it stored on internal memory. Lets say they are being stored on a generic OEM hard drive. IDE/SATA/PATA etc.

    Passwords wont do anything. If the data is not encrypted. The password will only work with the software programmed for that machene. Take the drive out. And read the data. Voila!

    Or if it is flash based. Just lift the chips (Or wire up a reader) and rea the data that way.


    I have seen these in the local shop. Id like to know how it can tell the difference between a real and fake ID. (Fake Driving License's are EASY to get hold of you know?)

    The only way is it can check UV or the hologram. But that must be prone to getting false answers.

  85. Anonymous Coward

    ICO. Security. What Security?

    Arnt the ICO supposed to be there to control the security of data held on us. Shouldnt they start on their own website?

    Enjoy some XSS

  86. Anonymous Coward

    IRL Pr0n

    Im wondering. If we will come to a time when this is illegal. (Bondage)

    As how this type of porn is illegal in the UK. Wont the act in a club be too?

    Anybody think the Gov wants the data to arrest a load or fetishers?

  87. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Licensing Authority

    "It's all down to some PR happy local councillor looking to make a name for himself."

    I have the pleasure (dubious admittedly) of actually sitting on a Licensing Authority and it's usually the police or aggrieved neighbour who requests such onerous conditions in the hope of closing the establishment (whatever it is) down entirely.

    However, just because the police are requesting particular conditions doesn't mean they Authority has to agree. And even if the conditions are imposed, the applicant has an absolute right to appeal to the magistrates that the conditions are unnecessary or disproportionate to the problem they are supposed to fix.

  88. Anonymous Coward



    Don't put the blame on SEOne... they have been told:

    Either you scan everyone ID or you close... if you invested in a business what would you do?

    Close it and fight for years against the Met? Open somewhere else and have the guys in blue "checking" you and your customers every week....

    It's comply or get out of business.

    It's (once again) the Met responsible here, not the SEOne owners.

  89. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    3 years data storage - personal injury?

    The website lists the reason for the 3 years of storage for the information being that the stature of limitations for personal injury claims is 3 years.

    I too have looked at the ICO website and searched for Packspring, SEOne and the postcodes of the club and holding company, and no Data Protection registrations are listed. Bearing in mind they probably already have CCTV installations - which would also require a DPA reg, one has to assume that the law they cite as being the reason for this, they are in breach of.

    Torture Garden also seems to be missing a DPA reg. But I don't think I'll report them.

  90. censored

    I can see it now...

    "We've found that citizens are more than happy to carry ID in order to access bars and clubs. Many people can now see the benefit of a standard UK ID card, which would replace the various ad-hoc forms of ID at such venues, as well as enabling citizens to access goverment and financial services."

    In other words: if you'll prove your ID for a drink, you'll be happy to prove it for everything else too. Papers, please!


  91. n

    further detail re nightclub scanning all id's....

    re: my night club scan/scam:

    below is the nightclub and the scanning policy as explained on their web site.

    It is under the heading "age policy". But i want to point out that EVERY guest had id scanned no matter what age they were. "No ID, no entry policy".

    Does anyone know what "CLUBSCAN" is? Is it a brand name? or a Met policy?

    "Age Policy:


    Valid Passport

    Valid Photo Full Drivers License

    Valid Photo Provisional Drivers License

    International ID Card/Book

    These are the only forms of acceptable ID. Should you be asked to show ID & you are unable to provide one of the above items then you may be refused entry. Zoo Bar operates CLUB SCAN, all ID will be scanned."


  92. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ID at TG

    Ive just got back from another meeting with the SE1, police and council. The SE1 management and us put in a request to only keep the data for 31 days in the case of a serious incident. After 31 days the info will be deleted. This then falls in line with the same policy for CCTV footage at all clubs and Bars. Please note that at present this has been allowed for this Torture Garden event ONLY as the police and council took on board the concerns of a few of our customers.

    I think this shows you that there is no devious intent from the powers that be about trying to out bdsm/fetish party goers.

    I believe that SE1 and Southwark Council are now discussing to reduce it to 31 days for all events as there seems to be mixed messages coming from the ICO.

    Also SE1 and TG will not be using the info for any marketing, profiling etc.

  93. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Besides, their spokeswoman added: "It is up to individuals whether or not they visit a club."

    Which speaks volumes for the real motives of the Government. They'd love nothing better than to shut down all pubs and clubs and ban alcohol.

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