back to article You can find me in da club, database full of faces… but this ain't privacy watchers' jam

Five clubs in Bournemouth are now accepting ID in the form of an app that verifies who you are through facial recognition – to the disdain of privacy activists. The town is the first in the UK to accept the digital identity app Yoti, which claims to offer users a safer way to prove they are who they claim to be. Users sign up …

  1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

    Its neither the App Vendor or the Clubs fault

    The problem is with the police and licensing authorities requiring tracking of individuals - such rules are a gross invasion of privacy. I would hope that someone challenges this.

    The fact that some clever company has developed an app to do is almost irrelevant;

    The poor clubs are stuck between the rock of licensing and hard place of privacy laws - no wonder they are jumping on an App that does it all for them.

    1. silverfern

      Re: Its neither the App Vendor or the Clubs fault

      I must be missing somthing here.

      Why do the police and licensing authorities need to know post facto who goes into clubs? Surely it's enough for the door staff to know that all guests are over 18.

      This is massive overkill.

  2. Richard Jones 1

    Surely Only The CPS Will Have concerns?

    You know the lot who could not even find evidence that showed a crime had NOT been committed when they looked for a criminal. Now they will have another alibi checker looking over their shoulder.

  3. frank ly

    Security by obscurity

    "... it can't say anymore about those checks in case someone games it ..."

    If it can be gamed, it will be gamed.

    Having said that, it's probably not worth anyone's effort to game it for these particular clubs. The situation may be different if that application goes nationwide.

  4. artbristol

    "the bouncer checks that picture with the person in front of them"

    That is remarkably similar to looking at someone's physical photo ID, except that now you've added a load of complexity and risk. What am I missing?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "the bouncer checks that picture with the person in front of them"

      "What am I missing?"

      The audit trail, and removing the need to produce a ID card with full personal information exposed.

      It doesn't look so bad overall. I think the privacy issues are real and must be investigated, but still are maybe somewhat exaggerated: facial recognition happens once here, when registering. It's not even obvious that they need to keep that information once the ID card has been validated (it's not clear whether they do or not from the article).

      If they do, that's still better than each and every nightclub having their own crappy system hackable while you wait in the queue. If they don't - well, then, that'd look good, wouldn't it? A more in depth article is needed here.

  5. Captain Hogwash


    Would you trust someone who was Robin Tombs? That's even worse than Robin Banks.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Angelina Jolie as "Robin Tombs" in the movie...

      I dunno... didn't they do a game about Robin Tombs a few years ago? I think it was called "Tomb Robber".

      The lead character- "Robin Tombs", I assume- had ridiculously oversized breasts (rendered in crappy 90s CGI in publicity, and made up of unconvincingly angular five polygons on the in-game version) versus a ludicrously narrow waist.

      "Robin" might have been a woman if I remember correctly.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Angelina Jolie as "Robin Tombs" in the movie...

        The lead character- "Robin Tombs", I assume- had ridiculously oversized breasts (rendered in crappy 90s CGI in publicity, and made up of unconvincingly angular five polygons on the in-game version) versus a ludicrously narrow waist.

        Would a CGI Mo Mowlem have been more to your taste? In shorts and a strappy top, of course.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Call me stupid (happens a lot) but why on earth do you need face id? Surely you could just show them an app on your phone to show that you are over 18?

  7. wyatt

    Interesting, no personal data (once verified) needs to be kept if done right. As long as the face matches and the person is 'of age', what are other details needed for? Maybe if someone needs blacklisting then you might need some airgapped data but this could be matched to a hash or something?

  8. iron Silver badge

    "can only be retrieved and put back together using the private keys stored on your device"

    So if your phone is lost, stolen, bricked by dunking in a pint or just replaced by an upgrade how do they access the encrypted data in your profile?

    Personally I would refuse to enter any club that required this app or recorded my ID in any way. Time to go back to the raves in abandoned warehouses and industrial buildings of my youth.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "So if your phone is lost, stolen, bricked by dunking in a pint or just replaced by an upgrade how do they access the encrypted data in your profile?"

      There is no need. Your name, address, and place of birth are not irreplaceable bits of data.

      Remember, this is a way to replace an official ID check. Losing access to encrypted data, you lose nothing important. Not knowing the app, I presume that you being the same person with the same ID, you can easily re-register.

  9. Dan 55 Silver badge


    Presumably they're talking about over-65 clubs?

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Bournemouth

      Yep, the over 65's who go clubbing along with the thousands of Uni and Foreign Students learning English.

      Us wrinklies are very much in the minority.

  10. Zippy's Sausage Factory
    Black Helicopters

    Why do I get the impression that these sort of apps will become mandatory nationwide and then there will be a central database and every single use of the app will be tracked... and then maybe the app will become mandatory for all clubs. And then they can start the racial profiling of clubs again* and start targeting the "undesirable**" ones for closure...

    * The forms you had to submit to the Met used to ask for the racial grouping of the clientele, I believe.

    ** I use this word only so I can remind you of Nat King Cole's response when moving into a new house and a white neighbour told him they didn't want any "undesirables" moving in - "if I see any, I'll let you know"

  11. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Could be used to check those migrants

    Who claim to be under 18 but suspiciously look like 30 or so.

    Not that there is anything wrong with that.

  12. JohnFen

    Scanning IDs

    When I was still young enough to be able to go to clubs without being "that creepy old dude", some clubs started scanning IDs as a condition for entry. My response was simple: I didn't go to those clubs.

    In my view, this app isn't actually any different or better than that. It's just more complex and only shifts who is getting more information than they need.

  13. Barry Rueger

    The New Normal

    What's insidious about this is that they're training a generation of fairly young people, at an age when you honestly don't think about such things, much less the long term implications, to consider this as just a normal part of life. At that age I was just interested in two things: girls and beer, and possibly other substances. I wasn't giving a moments's thought to the wider world.

    As with all of the on-line behemoths, the danger isn't so much that one club will have your data on file, it's that over the course of years or decades the data from hundreds of clubs, bars, web sites, libraries, and governments will be assembled to create a picture of you beyond your wildest dreams.

    By the time you're at an age when you understand that the trails of data you've left behind might come back to haunt you, it's too late to stop it. Fifty years ago the only thing you really were concerned about was avoiding a criminal record. Now every single part of your life is being collected and analyzed. Us pre-digital oldsters can appreciate the dramatic difference, but if you've never lived outside of the data collection web you won't realize how dangerous that is.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    back up your phone

    I've stopped going to bars and nightclubs partly because they always take a full copy of my ID and does who knows what with it. I got sick of shadey door man passing comments on me and my mates based on personal information they have no need or right to see.... that and constantly worrying about losing my passport.

    anyway, it's pretty easy to back-up keys. Atleast then it'll be in my own control and i won't have to fork out £70 for a new passport. Roll on brum

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022