Monday, January 18, 2010
Help Me Howard: ID Scan
Ever bought anything and the clerk scanned or swiped your driver's license thru their machine? Do you know what information they are getting about you and what they are doing with it? You are about to find out, and find out what you can do to stop them? Here is Help me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
WSVN -- John D'ambrosio's wall tells you he and his family are sports fans.
John D'ambrosio: I'm still a Red Wing fan, Detroit Lion fan, Dolphins and the Panthers."
We are now in the middle of hockey season so John is going to the Panther games and that's where he noticed something.
John D'ambrosio: "I ordered a beer, a beer and the girl asked me for my drivers license. I'm 64-years-old, so I didn't. I was kind of surprised but she said its company policy."
Later, John went back to get another beer and they once again asked for his license.
John D'ambrosio: "I said 'Don't slide it, here's my card if you want to check my age.' They said 'No, we have to slide it,' I said 'No.'"
John's clearly doesn't look like he is going thru puberty, and is obviously old enough to buy a beer, but he forgot about the barcode on his license being scanned until it happened a few days later at a discount store.
John D'ambrosio: "The cashier asked my wife for her id which she gave, she slid it through the cash register."
John says after his wife's ID was scanned, a receipt printed out her purchases and her name from her drivers license.
John D'ambrosio: "And I thought to myself, what are they going to do with this? Why are they doing it? And what's coming out? When they slide your drivers license, what information do they and what are they doing with it?"
At this point, John became suspicious, after all if you look at your drivers license it has your name your address, your date of birth and of course your drivers license number, and if that's is on the barcode a thief could have a field day with it.
John D'ambrosio: "Privacy. What's coming out? What are they going to do with it? Why do they need it?"
In John's eyes, it is an invasion of privacy and a risk an unnecessary risk.
John D'ambrosio: "If it's for an age thing, what do you need to swipe the card for? Just look at the date on the front. If you have people that can't just look at the date, hire some new people."
John has lots of questions, so Howard? What does the state put on that barcode and does a business have a right to take it and electronically keep it?
Howard Finkelstein: "The information on the barcode is the same that is on the front of your license, and yes, a business can store that information to analyze you and your purchases."
When we talked to the Division of Motor Vehicles they told us they don't give the information to the business, the card holder does when they make a purchase. The concessions manager at the Bank Atlantic Center said they swipe the license to make sure the customer is old enough to buy alcohol, and they do not store the information.
However, when we contacted other businesses they told us they store information to make sure customers aren't buying items they have limits on like medications. Howard says they can store your private information, but they better not sell it.
Howard Finkelstein: "If a business sells the information or distributes it for a survey or as a marketing tool it is a violation of federal law and they can be fined, and you do not have to allow someone to scan your drivers license you can refuse and of course they can then refuse to sell you the product."
John likes to protect his privacy and says he wont allow his license to be swiped anymore.
John D'ambrosio: "Well then they have to hire people that know how to count. Don't swipe my information just to make it easier for them."
Patrick Fraser: "Several states have made it illegal for a business to store the information from your license and Texas has made it illegal for a business to even swipe your license in Florida. They can swipe it and store it, but of course, you can say no, but you can't to everyone except a police officer who scans it to make sure your license is valid."
Someone swiped your peace of mind? Feel they have no license to do that? Let us scan things. We don't secretly store information but we do broadcast it.
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