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Alberta’s privacy commissioner considers investigation into ID scan at liquor stores


January 22, 2020
By The Canadian Press

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EDMONTON—Alberta’s privacy commissioner is considering whether to investigate a liquor retailer’s decision to test ID-scanning technology to address a growing number of thefts at its stores.

Edmonton-based Alcanna Ltd., which runs Liquor Depot, Wine and Beyond and Nova Cannabis, says it will require customers to scan valid ID to gain entry to some of its stores.

The CEO has said the company that developed the scanning system has been working with privacy officers in Alberta, Canada and across North America.

A statement from Alberta privacy commissioner Jill Clayton said her office learned about the plan through media reports on Monday.

“We have at no point been consulted on this pilot project,” said the statement. “The assertions by the companies that the identification scanning system used in liquor stores complies with privacy laws in Alberta are misleading.

“An independent analysis of the technology being used in the pilot project has not been completed by our office.”

The Edmonton Police Service has said its officers responded to about 9,600 thefts from liquor stores in 2019—an average of 26 per day. The service said that was a 200 per cent increase from a year earlier.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2020