ID scan expertise at Alcanna liquor shops collected an excessive amount of information, says investigation

An identification scanning program utilized by some Alberta liquor shops violated provincial privateness legal guidelines by accumulating extra info than allowed from prospects’ driver’s licences, an investigation has discovered.  

The findings from the Workplace of the Data and Privateness Commissioner (OIPC) have been launched Thursday. 

Alcanna, which operates liquor shops in Alberta beneath the manufacturers Liquor Depot, Ace Liquor Discounters and Wine and Past, launched the pilot program with assist from Edmonton police at three shops in January 2020. 

This system makes use of scanning expertise developed by Patronscan, a Calgary-based firm. Clients scan their government-issued identification to unlock a door into the shop. 

Alcanna hoped this system would assist cut back theft and stated info would solely be stored for 90 days except a buyer dedicated against the law. 

Nonetheless, the investigation discovered that Alcanna was accumulating and retaining extra info than is allowed beneath Alberta’s Gaming, Liquor and Hashish Act. 

The act permits licenced premises like nightclubs and liquor shops to gather names, ages and pictures. Nonetheless, the system utilized by Alcanna was additionally accumulating info saved within the driver’s licence bar code, which incorporates gender and a partial postal code. 

That contravened the Private Data Safety Act (PIPA), the laws that regulates the non-public sector, stated the report.

The investigation made 16 findings and 5 suggestions. Alcanna already complied with the primary suggestion when it moved in February to cease accumulating gender and postal codes.

Safer shops

Taylor Mann, Alcanna’s director of company investigations and arranged retail crime, stated the corporate has already complied with the remaining suggestions. The corporate modified its signage to make clear what info is being collected and the place to name with questions. The corporate has additionally developed insurance policies and procedures for rolling out the expertise to different shops.

Scanners at the moment are used at seven shops in Edmonton and two in Calgary. The corporate has lowered the time it holds information from 90 to 21 days, Mann stated. 

He stated the expertise has dramatically lowered thefts and money robberies. 

“Folks really feel safer,” he stated. “It creates a protected procuring setting and protected work setting.”

Mann stated the corporate is comfortable the investigation is over and acknowledges a privateness evaluation ought to have been carried out.

He stated Patronscan believed that the expertise had been vetted by the privateness commissioner. 

When the mission was launched in January 2020, Alcanna’s CEO James Burns stated that Patronscan had been working “with privateness workplaces in Alberta, Canada, throughout North America, to ensure that is all privateness compliant with each legal guidelines and norms of society.”

However the report by the privateness commissioner’s workplace says that is not true. Commissioner Jill Clayton stated her workplace wasn’t conscious of the mission till it was introduced on the information convention. 

Patronscan was counting on a privateness influence evaluation from 2009. The corporate’s chief government officer advised CBC Information in January 2020 that the corporate did not attain out to the privateness commissioner as a result of the pilot mission used the identical expertise that had been in bars for greater than a decade. 

However Clayton steered using identification scanners at a bar and use at a retail liquor retailer aren’t the identical. 

“The findings from a assessment by my workplace are solely as legitimate because the representations and knowledge made out there to us, and PIA (privateness influence evaluation) acceptance just isn’t a ‘seal of approval’ for advertising and marketing functions, notably when a expertise is carried out in a brand new and completely different manner, in a distinct context,” she wrote within the report.

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