ID scanners in the night-time economy: Social sorting or social order?
journal contributionposted on 2013-12-20, 00:00 authored by Darren Palmer, Ian WarrenIan Warren, Peter MillerPeter Miller
Digital technologies are often considered effective methods of deterring or preventing crime. New forms of surveillance have particular appeal when attempting to reduce violence in the night-time economy, given ongoing concerns over perceived increases in the frequency and severity of reported assaults. This study examines the rationales for adopting compulsory patron ID scanning as a key method of reducing violence in and around licensed venues in the Victorian regional city of Geelong. Using a mixed methods approach, this paper challenges the popular perception that ID scanning has helped to reduce violence Geelong’s night-time economy. Further, the research identifies several limits in the administration of this technology that potentially undermine patron safety in the night-time economy. The authors conclude by proposing a series of reforms to address current regulatory gaps associated with ID scanning and related surveillance and identity authentication technologies to prevent crime.