The New York State Senate is moving forward with proposed legislation that would allow bars and restaurants to use facial recognition or fingerprint scanners to verify customers’ ages before allowing them to buy alcohol, tobacco or electronic cigarettes, according to the New York Post.
“This is the new frontier of age verification,” said state Senator James Skoufis, who is sponsoring the biometrics bill. “It does advance the interests of convenience.”
Skoufis envisions that bars and restaurants could scan fingerprints, faces or retinas of customers who want to be spared the trouble of showing an ID when they return to an establishment in the future. The proposed legislation requires all data to be encrypted and prohibits businesses from selling biometric data to third parties.
“No one’s forced into engaging with this technology, but they would have the choice,” Skoufis said. “There’s no Big Brother involved.”
Age verification based on facial recognition technology is widespread in China, but has yet to catch on in Western countries, where critics have voiced concerns about consumer privacy.