Is there another reason why retailers require an ID for buying alcohol?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by glasscleaner, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. glasscleaner

    glasscleaner Initiate (0) Apr 9, 2011 New York

    When a clerk scans the bar code on a customer's driver license, what data is being collected? Is it fair to make retailers the first line of defense against underage drinkers and other lawbreakers? Can the information be stolen or misused? And how do you keep entry-level employees from turning a standard request for ID into a annoyance for customers?

    This relates to what the OP said in this thread:

    Many people are way over the legal drinking age,yet are increasingly requested by retailers to show ID when purchasing alcohol.We know the official reason why,which is all well and good,yet unlike in bygone days,when an ID was only looked at and returned,today information is entered,linked,and stored.

    As the BA thread above asked:

    "How many beer 'drinks' do you drink in a week?"

    and related it to a request from an insurance agent.

    That's the problem with being ID'd,we get flagged for our above average consumption,and information can be used against us.This happpens with other activities citizens do,as everything leaves an electronic trace,and we become part of "big data".
    Has anyone else found it becoming more usual to be asked for ID,where in the past,it was tacitly taken care of ?
  2. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (1,945) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Premium Trader

    Occasionally a new clerk will ask my birth date (they've been told to do that) and I make a joke about it but I will not allow anyone to scan my license.
  3. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (2,194) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland

    OP this is quite interesting. I've never had my license scanned in yet. I think that is quite scary though (insurance collection info.). Just like sending in your DNA to supposedly protected and innocent things like or your health insurance at work giving you a $200 check if you submit a swab of your saliva (yes, my last company's insurance kept promoting this..I of course said no thank you keep your $200 for my piece of mind). Who know's down the road how data collection will shake out. The concepts from the movie GATTACA from the 1990;s appear very possible and scary and appear to be coming to reality now to use info. to put individuals into classifications and boxes.
  4. Harrison8

    Harrison8 Poo-Bah (2,447) Dec 6, 2015 Missouri
    Premium Trader

    There is only one store I frequent that scans my license. To be honest, I'm afraid to say "don't scan that" as I'm around the age where it may lead them to believe I'm using a fake license. It's only certain clerks that scan at that store as well. So as far as insurance is concerned, I've only bought alcohol less than a handful of times. I would like them to not scan it though, and may bring it up next time I visit.

    I'd be more worried about 'frequent shopper' programs in my area, at least from a data collection stand point. Stores track how much money is spent in that store by individual patrons, which could be sold if it's written into the agreed terms and conditions.

    For those worried about having data collected, read your credit card policy. I just found out my credit card's policy allows them to monitor my phone calls. In fact, I may cancel that card once I use up my points since I found that out (admittedly, something I should have read about when I signed up, but that's on me).
    chrismattlin likes this.
  5. meefmoff

    meefmoff Zealot (521) Jul 6, 2014 Massachusetts

    I had a friend who did research on infant learning. Guess how she got her info about how to target letters to send to people to see if they would be interested in participating?

    She would obtain a mailing list of people who recently started buying baby formula from the company that manages all that grocery store shopper data.

    It was obviously not for a nefarious cause in this case, but I always found that sort of creepy.
  6. Urk1127

    Urk1127 Meyvn (1,291) Jul 2, 2014 New Jersey

    Ive worked retail liqour.

    1.if its a trap and a "worker" they can give you a fine. They come in as a secrets shopper. U dont ID them no matter the age, they hand you a card and report you to whichever higher up government thing.

    2. If theyre underage, you get arrested

    This is why we ask

    Our store didnt collect data. We did it to cover our ass. We never scanned them plus our POS system wasnt that intricate to collect data anyways.
  7. basaywhat

    basaywhat Poo-Bah (1,626) May 20, 2013 Illinois
    Premium Trader

    I currently work for a grocery chain that does scan all ID's. The information is just used to verify that the ID is indeed valid. No information is stored. It is just to protect us from selling to minors or accepting fake ID's.
  8. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (1,999) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota

    Yeah, like a lot of places, we have liquor checks where the cops send around an underage volunteer to try to buy beer/liquor/wine. Folks get fined and usually fired for failing the check, and businesses can be close for repeat offenses. Then the businesses start carding everyone - for a while. I'm in the whitebeard club now, so rarely get carded even after a sting. Never seen them scan cards here, just look at them.

    Anyone try not allowing them to scan and see what happens? Don't hand it over, just show them, and keep your finger over the barcode/QR. I doubt they are required by law to scan the card. If they insist, ask to talk to the manager, then ask if it's a store requirement or the law. They could refuse the sale, then go elsewhere.
  9. Jpliler

    Jpliler Initiate (0) Jan 31, 2018 Louisiana

    I have worked on the retail end of things for over 10 years now. Some registers I have run scan id and others don't. The ones that scan would not let me sell without either scanning or overide to key the date. The information is not stored just varified as an added check to make sure the ID is valid.

    In my state if you sell to an underage individual the cashier making the transaction gets fined as well as the store. If the store gets fined too many times they can loose their liscense to sell. Also, we can be fined for selling to someone who has an expired ID, as it is not concidered a valid ID.

    If the retailers aren't the frontline then who would be? We are the ones who are selling it to the public.

    As for the whole big data thing... I think, at this point, there is too much paranoia about it. they aren't tracking what you buy with that swipe, just making sure the ID is valid. Now that frequit shopper card and that debit card you are running... that's whats tracking your purchases.
  10. dcotom

    dcotom Poo-Bah (1,946) Aug 4, 2014 Iowa
    Premium Trader

    Wonder what they'd do if you showed them your passport. (I'd try this, but no one ever asks me for ID any more. :slight_frown:)
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  11. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (1,999) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota

    Depends on whether state law allows any government picture ID, or specifically requires a driver's license.
  12. marquis

    marquis Crusader (744) Nov 20, 2005 United Kingdom (England)

    I have never,ever,been asked about my age when buying alcohol. Even when I was underage (16 for beer with a meal or 18 without food)
    Drinking underage wasn't just tolerated,it was expected of you.
    Times change
    As an aside,I know many people who have no documentation at all .
  13. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (1,999) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota

    How do you know what the computer does with information when you scan it, unless you are the developer who supports the POS (Point Of Sale) software? Even if your manager tells you what it does, it doesn't mean they really know. And systems in other stores could easily be capturing information even if the system in your store isn't.

    As far as paranoia - we should all be protective of our personal information, because industry and government have repeatedly allowed it to be compromised. My information, with every detail of my life, was compromised due to a hack of government systems, and all of my financial information was had in the credit bureau hack. Marketing information is gathered and shared when you search, when you buy, and when you travel. Companies make significant profits by sharing and exploiting that. I don't think I'm paranoid for being concerned about that.
    #13 bbtkd, Apr 15, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
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  14. Harrison8

    Harrison8 Poo-Bah (2,447) Dec 6, 2015 Missouri
    Premium Trader

    This. I'm all for IDing, I just don't support scanning my ID. There are plenty of visual clues to detect a fake ID (even a fake temporary paper license) that don't require scanning.

    Besides, I've watched a sting on a bartender who didn't ID two young ladies after they ordered a drink each. Woops. Wonder how he's doing now.
    Urk1127 and tone77 like this.
  15. DrewSnyc667

    DrewSnyc667 Devotee (479) Jul 25, 2011 Massachusetts

    Some people need to take off their tin-foil hat and lighten up.
  16. Jpliler

    Jpliler Initiate (0) Jan 31, 2018 Louisiana

    You are right. You can't trust anyone on any of that. Close all of your accounts. Go to a cash only system. Live off the grid. The end is neigh.
  17. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (1,999) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota

    Cash is a good idea, but if your drivers license is being scanned then the answer is homebrewing I suppose...
    Mothergoose03 likes this.
  18. champ103

    champ103 Poo-Bah (4,268) Sep 3, 2007 Texas

    The historical neighborhood I live in Houston is called the Heights. There is an 100+ year old law making this neighborhood dry if you can believe it (that goes back to when the area was its own town, not part of Houston). There is a loophole, pretty much made for organizations like St Vince de Paul or others that wanted to have alcohol at their meeting spaces. So they could be a "private club." All the new restaurants and bars that have opened up in the dry area have to operate as such a club, where they swipe your drivers licence to be a member.

    Part of the the requirements is that the restaurant or bar has to set up a separate business entity to collect all alcohol profits.
    Any establishment that is a club has to by from a specific distributor, which is up-charged 8% from the regular distributors in Houston.
    A manager/Representative has to go to the distributor to pick up the alcohol, it can't be delivered.
    There are other regulations that I can't remember.

    These archaic rules finally got voted down last November, but the current laws will stay for at least a few more years. So, this is something I have had to deal with, though I think I am a member at ever "club" in my neighborhood that operates like this :slight_smile:
  19. LarryV

    LarryV Meyvn (1,016) Jun 13, 2001 Massachusetts

    My local super market asks to see every customer's license but I just show them the birth date and that's it. I've never had them scan it before. The local law enforcement does stings all the time with under aged customers so the store policy is to check every customer. The local package store never asks me for ID since it's obvious I'm not under age. Collection of personal information without opting in is a definite concern to me. If I were asked to scan my license I would ask them why they need the information and probably take my business elsewhere. I"m not a paranoid type, but I have no doubt in this day and age that the government is watching us to some degree and collect a lot of information about us without our being aware of it. The internet makes it very easy to do so. They probably don't do much with the information until you get on their radar for one reason or another.
    bl00 likes this.
  20. Jpliler

    Jpliler Initiate (0) Jan 31, 2018 Louisiana

    sure. or refuse to allow them to scan your ID or vote with your money and shop somewhere that doesn't. you are the one in control of the situation.
    Victory_Sabre1973, tone77 and bbtkd like this.
  21. tone77

    tone77 Poo-Bah (5,324) May 20, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I agree with you 100%. I even had that exact conversation with a cashier before. She said it doesn't store any data. I informed her that if it did, you would not be told about it.
    The only places I ever get carded is at supermarkets, which I don't often buy beer at. I will ask the cashier not to scan it, and most of the time they will comply. If they insist, I refuse and leave the beer sitting their on the counter. There are too many businesses that want me as a customer that I can shop at for me to comply with a rule (not law), that I don't agree with.
  22. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (1,999) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota

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  23. lightman1

    lightman1 Initiate (74) Oct 19, 2013 Arkansas

    I don't remember having my license scanned but I'm ask for ID occasionally. Its kind of funny in a way, I'm 60 and have a solid grey beard and some gray hair. I just laugh and make some type of joke like being flattered! I probably would refuse if they were scanning it. I mean, enough is enough!
  24. stephens101

    stephens101 Poo-Bah (2,118) May 5, 2006 Oklahoma

    I've been getting ID'd a lot more lately (I'm 46), and I thought perhaps the ABLE commission (our alcohol police) were cracking down or some such. Not sure about the scanning thing, but it is something to be aware of. That being said, I do feel that we have very little control over most of our personal data, no matter what we do. That battle is going to have to be won in a different manner than just avoidance of technology/purchase points etc. etc. Or move to the mountains and try and live off the land.
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  25. Immortale25

    Immortale25 Poo-Bah (3,010) May 13, 2011 North Carolina

    The only time I can remember having my license scanned in recent memory is at a music venue in town that I trust enough to not have any motive as far as using my personal info. Back home, in Delaware, I vaguely remember some liquor stores scanning the ID and, since I was much younger at the time, I thought nothing of it. But reading this thread and article certainly has me a bit wary of letting it happen in the future, especially at a large corporate store like Target
    GOBLIN likes this.
  26. Giantspace

    Giantspace Defender (641) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    I have purchased beer at a grocery chain the last week 5 days in a row after work. I use self check out and as soon as I scan the beer someone shows up to see my ID. I think they are just typing in my state and birth date. Need to check this week.

    I will offer my passport at one point as well.

    dcotom likes this.
  27. GOBLIN

    GOBLIN Meyvn (1,242) Mar 3, 2013 Ohio
    Premium Trader

    Modern day rule of thumb . . . Everytime something is scanned data is collected.
    I recently heard a story about how a teenage girl purchased a home pregnancy test at the local grocery store. She also Used the stores discount value member card she was given by her parents. A few weeks later in the mail the family recieved coupons for baby formula, diapers etc. Long story short . . . The grocery store knew the teenage girl was potentially pregnant before the parents did. Be careful what you allow to be scanned and be more careful what you click on.
    "They" know us better than we think.
  28. hobbitz

    hobbitz Initiate (110) Jun 17, 2010 Rhode Island

    Do we get beer points on Id card. Where can I redeem them?
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  29. PorterPro125

    PorterPro125 Crusader (756) Jan 19, 2013 New Brunswick (Canada)

    I've never heard of this before now, it must be a USA thing.

    At every liquor store I've ever been to in Canada they just take my ID, look at it for a brief second (presumably at the date of birth and picture), and then hand it back.
    Victory_Sabre1973 likes this.
  30. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (1,999) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota

    Is there a barcode or QR code on your licenses? If not, that's why.
    PorterPro125 likes this.
  31. PorterPro125

    PorterPro125 Crusader (756) Jan 19, 2013 New Brunswick (Canada)

    There are two barcodes on the back of my license: One large along the top and one smaller on the left side.

    Despite that I've never had my license scanned by any liquor store within Canada.

    I've never personally bought alcohol within the United States, so I can't speak of any experience there
    bbtkd likes this.
  32. Retroman40

    Retroman40 Devotee (452) Dec 7, 2013 Florida

    I work at a major alcoholic beverage retailer. If you appear under 30 you will be asked for ID proving your are over 21. If you refuse to hand it to me I will suspend the sale and call a manager. If you refuse to hand it to the manager you will not be purchasing any alcoholic beverages. LE Stings using attempted purchases by underage buyers are a huge deal. As far as scanning the declared purpose is only to test validity. If you belong to our loyalty program of course we keep track of what you purchase. In exchange for participating in the program the participants receive some pretty good coupons (like 20% off a 200 buck purchase). I can't imaging ever sharing that data since in the hands of a competitor it would be gold.

    I agree that "they" know "us" better than we think. Personally I don't mind getting complimentary (diapers when you buy a pregnancy test) or counter coupons (Hunts coupon if you buy Heinz). I used to get baby supply coupons when I lived in Kentucky. I figured that since I had a 18 year old daughter they figured that where I lived I must be a grandparent! I have all sorts of conspiracy theories about this but this is not the forum.
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  33. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,313) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    I've only bought alcohol in the USA for the past ~40 years (in the mid-late 70s, I bought beer in Mexico and Canada) and I've never heard of it, seen it or been asked to do it, either.
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  34. Samlover55

    Samlover55 Zealot (584) Oct 8, 2015 New York

    The grocery stores in my area particularly Shoprite scans my ID every time I make a beer purchase. I am under the impression that the beer doesn't scan at the register, until they scan your ID. I will try next time to just show it. All local bottle shops otherwise, have never asked me for ID.
  35. ilikebeer03

    ilikebeer03 Champion (805) Oct 17, 2012 Texas

    Should be fine. It is a legal, government issued ID. They can't mandate that the ID shown be a drivers license....what if you don't drive due to a disability?
    Harrison8 likes this.
  36. Retroman40

    Retroman40 Devotee (452) Dec 7, 2013 Florida

    At my place Drivers License (we have a book with all of them including most foreign countries), State Issued ID Card, Passport, Military ID. Anything else is a no-go. Of course, you can scan a Passport to ensure validity.
  37. Wiffler27

    Wiffler27 Meyvn (1,261) Aug 16, 2009 New Jersey

    I have never had my ID scanned, it's been checked but never scanned. Not sure if it's a state by state thing but I've purchased alcohol in MN, CT, NJ, PA, MA, OH and NV without being scanned.

    It doesn't bother me, am I worried the government or insurance companies see I buy beer every friday? No, it's not that interesting of information. Am I worried about my privacy? No, if the government wanted to pry into my life I'm sure they have a much better way of doing so.
  38. PorterPro125

    PorterPro125 Crusader (756) Jan 19, 2013 New Brunswick (Canada)

    Must be select retailers then!
  39. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,313) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Well, I'd un-select 'em... :wink: but, yeah, sure seems that way.
    PorterPro125 likes this.
  40. pjbear05

    pjbear05 Initiate (156) May 28, 2008 Florida

    I would guess they scan to make sure the age and ID are legit, AND match the face of the buyer. I've always had a babyface, and through my mid to late 30's 90% of the time I purchased I was getting carded. Licensing enforcement types here in S FL are known for sending high schoolers into stores to trap sellers.