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BarWatch is a Canadian security program that monitors patrons of bars and nightclubs. Subscribers to the program photograph and scan the government issued ID cards of all customers.[1] The intent is to prevent people known to police for criminal or potentially violent behavior from entering nightclubs. However there has been concern that the program may be used to provide police and other agencies such as insurance companies with the information collected.[2] The BC Civil Liberties Association filed a complaint against a BarWatch participate with the Office of the Privacy and Information Commissioner. They claim BarWatch violates citizens privacy rights by failing to comply Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act [3].

As of October 2009, Barwatch was told to cease and desist recently. However, Barwatch does not have to totally comply with the BC PaIC's recommendation because it is overseen by the RCMP, and is a federal privacy matter rather than a provincial one, even though the BC Liquor Act supposedly controls the right of licensed establishments to control who gets into a venue or not.

For the purpose of Barwatch is not to protect the rights of patrons of such establishments, but to control and monitor patrons' suspected illegal activity in bars, pubs and restaurants. So far, only hackcanada's barwatch author is reporting marketing material turning up after his ID was scanned.

External links

  • Barwatch, The official website
  • hackcanada, Strongly opposed to the BarWatch and includes a partial list of participants
  • Georgia Straight, A 2007 article from a popular Vancouver free newspaper
  • CBC A 2008 article from the CBC







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