An August 23, 2011, USA Today article has highlighted privacy concerns over how bars, restaurants and night clubs use ID scanners to track and share consumer data with other venues, including whether an individual patron “caused a problem” or “started a fight.” As the purveyor of one system explained to journalist Trevor Hughes, the new networked scanners collect information about patrons and “allow multiple bars in a geographic area to alert each other about known troublemakers,” a feature already employed by New York City, Miami, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas establishments.

This development, however, has since spurred criticism from groups like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which noted that the systems “come with very few promises of security or confidentiality.” For example, as ACLU legislative counselor Chris Calabrese observed, while Canada has placed legal limits on the use of data gathered by ID scanners, consumer data could be sold to marketers or insurance companies in the United States. “You no longer control that information, and you no longer get to make decisions about how that information gets used,” Calabrese was quoted as saying.