Canadian nightclub’s scanning of ID found to violate Alberta’s privacy legislation

December 2005

Live Music

The Alberta Privacy Commissioner has found that the scanning of patrons’ identification at the door of a nightclub violates the province’s Personal InformationProtection Act (PIPA). The report concluded that purposes for which the personal information was collected were not reasonable, contrary to section 11 of PIPA. The widespread practice of photo-scanning ID in nightclubs was apparently intended to deter violent or criminal behaviour.  However, the Commissioner found that Penny Lane Entertainment, the owner of the nightclub, failed to demonstrate that the collection of this type of personal information would in fact address this issue. The complaint was filed by the author of this summary, Deeth Williams Wall summer student Nyall Engfield. The decision calls for Penny Lane Entertainment to purge the data that has been collected and cease the practice.  Such a decision is not binding, but if Penny Lane Entertainment does not comply with the finding, then an inquiry that could result in a binding order will be launched.

Also see: From a Summary by Nyall Engfield in E-TIPS, a publication of Deeth Williams Wall LLC. E-Tips is edited by Richard Potter QC . To review past issues of the E-TIPS ® newsletter, visit:

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