back to article Fetish club forces ID scanner climbdown

Good news for fetishists wishing to protect their privacy on a night out in South London. Less good news for the rest of us, as Police and Government obsession with crime prevention continues to make inroads into our personal privacy and security - but some comfort, as senior politicians from all parties take up an issue first …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    Where are you going to keep your ID if all you're wearing is a leather jock-strap and a gimp mask?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yay the Lords.

    Fuck the Commons.

    Can we have a new democracy, please. One with less idiots in it would be nice.

  3. Dennis

    I guess it will be safe for all the Politicians to attend now

    And I'll bet it will all go on expenses.

    Can I have an icon for attending a fetish club without giving my real name.

    I'll just get my dirty mac instead

  4. Anonymous Coward


    Even 31 minutes is too long, let alone days. TG have lost several of us club goers from my area :(

  5. Anonymous Coward


    ...I can now slap and tickle myself whenever I want.

    Mine's the rubber one with the handcuffs and truncheon in the pocket, Sarge. Be a good boy and grab it from the back of the patrol car will you.

  6. Sillyfellow
    Thumb Down

    useful purpose?

    it was said in the article that there appears to be no useful purpose for this IDing of club goers...

    of course, this statement is nonsense. there are very clear useful purposes to those that oppress the masses:

    1. YOU are the enemy that must be kept under compliant control. your activities being monitored are useful to this end.

    2. Intimidation: you will be more likley to not 'pose a threat' to these so-called filthy rotten leaders, if you know you're being watched and thereby constantly feel intimidated.

    3. Acclimatization: you will need to get used to being monitored at all times, and being asked for 'your papers' at any time by any idiot for any purpose.

    papers please citizen... you have no rights if 'the law' decides... thank you for listening....

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The new mantra . .

    4th June 2010, 4th June 2010, 4th June 2010 . . repeat until election day.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    ClubScan is unacceptable no matter how long the data is stored

    It's great that the Torture Garden organisers made some progress with this, but I still won't be going to any more events at SEone until I can do so without having my ID scanned and stored. Even one month is unacceptable for me I'm afraid.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    CCTV and Neighbourhood can watch

    ... Survellience has not stopped any crimes, we can just make naff reality TV about it instead.

  10. Pat
    Black Helicopters

    Gimp mask, hijab, hoodie

    All a bit of a nightmare if you're into surveillance. Maybe they thought the submissives in the rubber masks would be more compliant. Maybe it's time for National Wear a Big Hat and Massive Sunglasses Day.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The New Mantra?

    on election day we swap one lot of self-serving idiots for another there isnt anything new coming so move along please.

    Personally I'd prefer something like F Paul Wilsons LaNague Charter

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Re: IDs?

    RFID butt-plug

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They should get it over with...

    and harvest us for energy like in the Matrix. Only our government is twice as ruthless as any machine, they won't bother creating a nice cosy Matrix for our brains to live in, they'll just induce a coma in all new born babies and keep them alive in tubes for hundreds of years.

    Selling the electricity harvested to foreign countries and using the profits to furnish huge mansions in the vast areas of now depopulated land.

    Come on, you know that's what Jacqui and co want. ;)

  14. Dan Breen

    Re: ID?

    @Anonymous Coward #1 - hook it onto your nipple ring obviously!

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    I don't understand the logic

    Can someone explain why would data need to be kept for as long as 31 days? Maybe 48 hrs by which time any violent crime (the stated purpose) ought to have been reported and in that case the data could be requested by the police.

    What crime would be prevented that could be reported today, that would need to trawl through alll people in all establishments a month ago? I can see that an idealised police state it might be useful to see where everyone in the world was and to trace their movements at any point in history, but surely it is more creeping intrusion into privacy of the individual?

  16. Rob Skedgell

    DPA notices, please

    If anyone does still feel like having their personal data compromised by an organisation so clueless that they did not know their DPA responsibilities, perhaps they should send notices under s11(1) (reducing the marketing value of the data to zero) and s10(1) (stating that demanding, processing and retaining the personal data causes "substantial distress, which would be unwarranted"). "If" they do not respond to a s10(1) notice within 21 days of receiving it, they can be reported to the Information Commissioner for failing to comply with their responsibilities under s10(3).

  17. Anonymous Coward

    A bit self serving :-)

    If I recall what caused the Tories some problems was the repeated discovery of members (pun intended) in interesting locations, and/or positions and/or in interesting company.

    So that sorts that one out when they get to power - it's nice when they think along citizens for a change, even if for different reasons :-).

    The problem is that nobody dares to make any binding statements (argh).

    Mine's the leather straightjacket with the gag, thanks.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    "only" 31 days...

    If they really just want to check you're old enough, then there is no need to store this data AT ALL. Place ID card on reader; it can flash a green "old enough", yellow "couldn't read ID", or red "too young" light. The reader doesn't need any writeable storage - e.g. it could boot from CD and run in RAM. If they need to prove to the cops that they've checked ages, just print out a paper log of the date/time of the check and the result - no names needed.

    It sounds like the real reason they're recording IDs is just in case a crime is committed. I think that's a bad idea. But if they want to do that legally then they need to _say_ that's the reason they're keeping a record of IDs, and keeping the data for 3 days would probably be sufficient.

    Finally, this establishment now has a different (special) rule just for this one event; this makes it more likely they'll accidentally keep the data for 3 years. ("oops I forgot to delete it").

  19. Anonymous Coward


    Not that they gets their Jollies like that,

    "a police drive to ensure that all interactions between private individuals were recorded"

    Indicates a very advanced state of excitement, after this it's "They'll gouge one of your eyes out and replace it with a CCTV camera" and shortly after that the orgasm itself is accompanied by cries of either "Orwellllll!" or "Think Of The Children"

    For fucks sake,

    1) Crimes get committed at a venue

    2) The Police (Hereafter known as "THEY") get called in to investigate

    3) _THEY_ The evil totalitarian despots who ruthlessly turned up just because someone dialed 999 want to know who was there... see point 2.

    That said, yeah it's a massive problem that this could be used for ID theft, that data security hasn't been thought through and that a police force can autonomously insert a system every bit as badly conceived as a major government project. But wankers harping on about it being a slippery slope are themselves on a slope towards demanding that Police be kept off the streets incase they glance at a potentially law abiding citizen in a suspicious manner.

  20. xjy
    Paris Hilton

    Anyone remember the Evils of Communism?

    Like spying on everyone, keeping records on everyone, restricting what you could do, and how you could do it?

    Hm, thought not.

    Anyway, Bert Brecht, a once-famous poet and playwright (you know, when people read stuff and knew what culture was) wrote about the Evil Communist government in East Germany where he was living:

    "The people has displeased the Government...

    So wouldn't it be easier

    To dissolve the people

    And elect a new one?"

    But he was a Communist, and Evil, and so obviously had no idea at all what he was talking about...

    A tip to Gordon and the rest... Declare the UK a penal institution, where everyone is under house arrest and wearing an ankle bracelet (except the politician and police and fat cats of course). You can be let out on parole if you can prove your innocence and are dressed correctly.

    (Reading tips for those of us who can still read: 1984 by George Orwell, and Queen Camilla by Sue Townsend.)

    (Paris cos she might be worth spying on, as opposed to me :-(

  21. Chris Thorpe

    Clubbed to death

    If licensed clubs are forced to install scanners, punters will choose to go to unlicensed shebeens, raves, warehouse parties, and gin-mills instead. Much more fun.

    Mine's the day-glo parka with a smiley on the back

  22. Ian
    Thumb Down

    Is there a box...

    Is there a box I can tick, stating that I am quite comfortable with the current rates of crime, and do not require any further protection?

    To be honest I can put with quite a bit more crime before I'll feel need to have every pub, club and shop in the country store my ID everytime I leave the house.

    Could the powers that be actually just fuck off now? Things really are getting just plain stupid. This is meant to be a nice, free, liberal country isn't it?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    31 days

    31 days to brings it into line with cctv footage for any club, shop, bar etc which is kept for 31 days and then recorded over. The id scan has been brought in as a safety measure (rightly or wrongly) like cctv footage was brought into clubs many years ago.

    For all the flack TG has recieved about this matter, if it wasnt for them being so forthcoming about the issue then this wouldnt be so in the spotlight now. It seems they have helped starting the ball rolling into getting this badly thought out policy removed from venue licences.

  24. Cameron Colley

    Just remember to stay away.

    If people remember to stay away from anywhere that records ID then things will need to change. Just remember not to cave in -- no matter how much you want to go to the event, it's not worth the risk.

    As has been pointed out above, for age-verification purposes there is no reason to record names -- unless we're all guilty until proven innocent now?

    @ Anonymous Coward, 12th May 14:24 GMT:

    You'd be a lot more convincing if you weren't concealing your name...

  25. Anonymous Coward

    The marketing uses of the data are the least of our worries

    Picture the scene: you've complained about the actions of a named police officer, or submitted incriminating footage of a fatal beating to The Guardian...

    Next thing you know, your employers, your neighbours, your parents and the governers of nearby schools have a printout of the clubs you've attended and a selection of photos of the usual clientele. These things happen; harassment and smear campaigns are a common tactic against enemies of the Police - and some other authorities.

    The other risk is the resale value of this data - over-the-counter or By Appointment if a celebrity or politically-connected name is recognised; and wholesale to blackmailers and the press. The gentlemen of Fleet Street would love to have a dossier on everybody, this being more convenient than corruptly gaining access to your credit cards and medical records on a case-by-case basis. And ANY woman in the place is fair game for the ever-popular slow news day story: 'My Double Life - legal secretary by day, rubber-clad fetish slut by night'.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So Club SeOne Have Acted Illegally?

    If there is no ICO registration for Club SeOne then surely they have acted illegally and should face action for that?

  27. Christopher Ahrens


    Just give everyone a phone with Twitter, they'll slef-report their location every 5 seconds, as the twits are wont to do.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: Just remember to stay away

    A mass boycott of institutions doing this would work wonders. If there's one thing the munters in power understand it's a threat to their oh-so-precious economy. A few whining club owners might just induce a little common sense.

    31 days is 744 hours too long to retain the data; it shouldn't be collected at all. we seem to be moving a bit rapidly from government collecting whatever it pleases to any sleazebag with a scanner building up their own private database. I hate government doing it, but I really, really despise the private sector doing it.

    The database obsession WILL end, sooner or later, with mass graves or ash pits.

  29. Anonymous Coward


    "Lib Dem Home Affairs Spokesman Chris Huhne echoed these sentiments."We should not have to prove who we are to go about our daily business," he said. "The problems we face as a society are not going to be solved with ID scanners in every pub, club and shop in the country.

    "In fact we could be taking real risks by putting vast amounts of personal information in the hands of people at best incompetent and at worst malicious."

    Mr Hume is on very very very dangerous ground here with his sweeping statement that those who work, own and manage pubs, clubs and shops are at best "INCOMPETENT" and at worst "MALICIOUS"

    Did the John Oz quote him in context or is this really what he said and meant - he has single handedly slanderously insulted more than 4 million people who work in these industries

    I hope his expenses are in order!

  30. Matthew Joyce

    If only...

    "If one club has ID scanning, it is, as the Home Office a matter of choice for individuals whether they visit that club or not."

    Oh, lovely misprint! If only it were true - that the edicts of the Home Office club were truly a matter of choice for an individual. I for one, already choose not to visit...

  31. andy

    @ac 8.43

    "In fact we could be taking real risks by putting vast amounts of personal information in the hands of people at best incompetent and at worst malicious."

    Mr Hume is on very very very dangerous ground here with his sweeping statement that those who work, own and manage pubs, clubs and shops are at best "INCOMPETENT" and at worst "MALICIOUS"

    Seems reasonable to me, unless of course everyone who works in the industry also happens to be an expert in data protection and IT security...

  32. John Smith Gold badge


    "In fact we could be taking real risks by putting vast amounts of personal information in the hands of people at best incompetent and at worst malicious."

    You might like to consider the context in which he was being interviewed.

    A club is using special equipment to collect people personal ID.

    They are holding this information for 3 years. They have not appointed a Data Controller under the DPA. They claim they did not realise they had to under the DPA, or seem aware of the ideas of such collection being reasonable and not excessive. But they are collecting the data.

    On the basis of their actions the club management is incompetent in this matter. And given the number of people whose credit card details have been skimmed by bar and waiting staff that would cover the malicious remark. Why should anyone rely solely on the good nature of the staff not to rat their presence out to anyone from a private detective agency to a tabloid newspaper. Its botchery at best, burglary at worst.

    And I am b*%%$£d if I know why any non membership club needs to know my name in the first place. If it is a membership place then the only thing they need to confirm is I am the person with that membership card. AFAIK all commercial premises in the UK have ROAR. No ID check needed. They don't like your face, you don't get in. They don't like your behaviour, you leave one way or another.

    But maybe you're not worried about this creeping, case by case cult of surveillance. The fact you won't even put a name to your opinions says otherwise.

    Happy face because TG promoters got a result with calm reason. Let's see if SE1 roll out 31 days only to all their venues and events. They should.

  33. Allan Dyer

    Re: Re: ID?

    OK, but how's anyone going to check the ID, if you're wearing a mask?

  34. call me scruffy
    Dead Vulture

    @ac 15:30

    "harassment and smear campaigns are a common tactic against enemies of the Police", er really, if it's so "common" name five cases in the last year.

    Spouting unfounded alarmist bullshit is a defining tactic of the "wanker", who ultimately defames his own cause by squashing any reasonable debate.

  35. Dave

    Time limit

    I don't see any reason why this data should be retained for even 1 second.

    If, (and that is debatable) there is a genuine need to identify you before entering, then that identity can just as easily be verified later on as well. Once a person has then left the location, there is no longer a justifiable reason to retain any info on them, ergo no need for the premises to retain the data, as the data is already being retained within, in the form of the original ID.

  36. EvilGav

    Club vs Pub

    Putting them in clubs is one thing (and a bad one thing at that), but putting them in pubs would completely change the manner of the licence.

    The building is a public house, as in the public are allowed to come and go as they please, they don't even need to buy anything to sit inside and, say, read a book or the paper (yes, many publicans will find a reason to boot them out if they try).

    If a scanner was put in place, it is no longer a public house, by definition of the licencing agreement.

  37. Anonymous Coward

    @Call me Scruffy

    The police are the allegedly independent arm of the legislature - or government - who create the laws. I accept that a very great majority of them are good guys who are doing a tough job. Though this is becoming increasingly strained as the government attempts to systematically criminalise the population of the country.

    To suggest for one second that the police are whiter than white deserves this very simple two word answer:

    Fuck off.

    The level of misinformation and smears that they used to try to cover up the atrocious behaviour when Jean De Menezes was shot shows clearly the level of contempt for the witnesses there who finally dismissed the web of slander and lies the police officers responsible tried to use to bury the truth of what happened.

    The actions of the police at the G20 summit were confrontational and aggressive. The leaking to the press that the unfortunate chap who died was an alcoholic, a troublemaker, had a broken home, all the irrelevances they could come up with to justify the fact that they had - pending a final public enquiry - beaten a man to death sickened me, and I hope sickened anyone else who witnessed them. These allegations were swiftly brought back into line once it was discovered that there was ample video and CCTV evidence to dismiss them, but the speed with which they were trotted out shows that the first line of defence for the police is to attack the character of the person they have mistreated.

    Deny if you are brazen enough that the police covered up their ID tags, surely a premeditated action suggesting clearly the intention to act illegally. Find me one single sustainable reason why this took place - one innocent justifiable cause for them to obscure their faces and act as they did. And you won't. Because there are none.

    So before you continue to challenge people to "name five instances", stop, take a deep breath, then crawl back into your hole.

    People here are outraged that the legislature and the police are demanding to know our movements, our free associations, and we feel it is at best undemocratic and misguided, at worst Stalinistic and the behaviour of a regime desperate to cling to power and control us.

    If you are in the police force, or are family of the police, then I wish you support, and luck, in breaking from what appears to be a culture of frustration, heavy handed and increasingly violent towards the population you swear to protect and serve. We are not the enemy. We simply will not tolerate being considered as such. Stop criminalising the population. Start pushing back at laws rammed through parliament without sufficient consideration. And then, maybe, just maybe, you can earn back a shred of the respect that you have thrown away.

    My apologies to Sarah, that she has to preside over such a bitter and angry row in the comments once more.

    AC, cause while you have to earn back respect, you also have to earn back trust. Riot shield rhinoplasty isn't my idea of a good time.

  38. Graham Cobb Silver badge

    I usually post as AC...

    .. but given the topic it seems appropriate to show the strength of my feeling by posting under my name.

    The issue in my mind is not how long information is kept for but why on earth I should have to give a name, let alone any ID, to enter a club! I certainly would not go into any bar, restaurant, club or shop which wanted to know who I was, why I wanted to be there, etc. I even refuse to produce photo ID when checking into hotels unless it is a legal requirement in the country concerned. It is none of their, or anyone else's, business to know who I am -- if they want my business.

    I think what has happened is that young people have been conditioned by the need to prove age to tolerate, and even expect, to produce ID. We need to fix that quickly: there is no reason why a secure proof-of-age card could not be produced which has no name, address or even serial number.

    I understand that the police could solve more crimes if they knew the names of everyone in the club when an incident occurred. But, as Ian said, I am quite comfortable with current levels of crime and do not wish to trade personal freedom for more efficient policing.

  39. John Smith Gold badge

    Coming soon to the West End

    <breathless Meth fuelled prose>


    You asked for it (well you didn't but so what) and we're giving it too you.

    When you arrive we scan all you ID before entry for your personal safety.

    As you dance the night away our resident DJ MC Kent will be leavening the night with his very special take on life, data protection and the haters, while shipping a mash up of your most personal data to Russia, Over there our special ClubPhorm crew will work through the night to ensure that when you leave the following morning you'll be thoroughly trashed.

    1 DJ, 2 decks, 5 floors, 12 door staff, 129 forms of ID scanned.

    </breathless Meth fuelled prose>

  40. John Ozimek

    For the record

    The Lib Dems did get back to me (the original quote is accurate, but possibly subject to misinterpretation should someone read it one way) and the following is an additional statement from the office of their Home Affairs spokesperson, Chris Huhne:

    “Anonymous Coward would be right to be aggrieved if the Liberal Democrats had referred to all four million people who work in retail or hospitality as incompetent or malicious. However, there is another interpretation, which is the one that Mr. Huhne intended in his quote.

    "If ID card scanners were put in every pub, club and shop, we would be entrusting a lot of personal data with huge numbers of people, far more than can be safe. The vast majority of employees will use the information exactly as intended and will handle it responsibility but within such a large demographic there will be people who are either incompetent or have malicious ideas or both.

    "I think the point that Mr. Huhne is making is that when we start entrusting data to so many people in so many different places, we will be putting our information in the hands of people who are incapable of handling it safely or who may use it for malevolent purposes. I hope this clarification avoids any misunderstanding.”

    Hope that helps.

  41. Anonymous Coward

    WARNING. Your finger prints will be scanned at SeOne

    Reading the Torture Garden Forum this morning I noticed a post asking whether finger printing is required to have a cigarette. There has been no response so far. I found that so unbeleivable I went and googled it and it's TRUE.

    In order to smoke or go outside for fresh air at SeONe you will;

    Pay £1

    Be tagged

    Have your finger prints scanned to enter the smoking zone

    You are allowed 10 minutes ONLY

    You will be forced to pay to re-enter the club if you take longer.

    I wouldn't have beleived if if the sign wasn't photographed. Here.

    I will NEVER step foot in that club or any club that promotes this.

    WHY has this not been made clear to those of us attending (or NOT) TG on Saturday?

  42. mark

    Lib Dems Need to get Their Own House in Order First

    I might take Mr Huhne more seriously if it wasn't for the fact that Southwark is a Lib Dem council to all effect. Any complain to them about it is met with an appalling "it's not our fault, the Met are asking for it" response.

    The wonderful Shunt (also in Southwark, also not ICO registered) has also done this and as such my friends and I have not been since the implementation.

    /Unhappy card-carrying Lib Dem member

  43. Andrew

    false ID

    where do I get a fake ID for clubbing?

    this sort of move could push otherwise law abiding folk into the hands of criminals.

  44. Bella Brown

    False ID @ Andrew

    My thoughts too. I've got nothing to hide (apart from my right to a private life) and no criminal convinctions and don't intend on having any. So, yesterday I started reading up on the net about how effective fake I.D. really is and where I can get hold of it.

    Not really a direction I'm keen on taking, but I bet a lot of people will if the government persist with these Orwellian regulations.

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