New York

BioBouncer Club Surveillance: Better Than Regular Bouncers?



Not so fast

Insert 1984 Reference Here

For the five people who still think it’s awesome to bring weapons into night clubs, this new “BioBouncer” surveillence device, all pressed-out page-1 Metro New York and elsewhere, might come as a major bummer:

Utilizing facial recognition biometric technology, BioBouncer compares the facial images of club patrons to a database of potentially dangerous persons who have violated club policy in the past. Upon a confirmed match, an alert is sent to club security personnel detailing the identified subject--including location, offenses, and special instructions. The offenses are divided into levels of alert so that more serious offenses (e.g. possession of a weapon) are treated with greater urgency.

This “highly skilled security guard,” says JAD Comm prez Jeff Dussich, is hitting Manhattan as early as next month apparently, 10 clubs up for beta testing. Since people get antsy when it comes to privacy, Dussich insists a few things w/r/t his product’s unintrusiveness:

  • A circular camera, BioBouncer only collects info on the shitheads, not the regular dudes. When patrons leave the club, their image is flushed from the machine.
  • Info re: shitheads is only shared within a “virtual private network” of clubs subscribing to the BioBouncer network. (Cost would be around $1000/month.)
  • “These familiar faces may have been kicked out for fighting, for carrying a weapon, dealing drugs or for any other violation.”
  • Ultimately, a real, human bouncer (generous word choice zing) will process the info BioBouncer provides on the patron awaiting entrance, then make a decision from there. So theoretically, you could reason with the bouncer that the one night you pulled a knife on the bartender for giving you Blue Ribbon when you asked for Cobalt Blue, you were just having a bad day.

Honestly I could care less about the civil liberties stuff–as if privacy violation isn’t most clubs’ bread+butter (yezzir). And when I really want to get my privacy violated, all I have to do is use the bathroom in my apartment and wait for my roommate to make ghost noises through the door crack like he always does.

What I do care about: Hey, what if I want to bring weapons into a club? What if I’m at Webster Hall for 80s Weapon Night? It seems like it’ll be a tad annoying when I try to hang out with my hunting buddies at the Gun Club in the Upper West Side, but possibly can’t because of my mild penchant for bringing Asiatic weaponry to indie rock shows. I assume if I just keep my machete in my pants, the BioBouncer won’t detect anything–but why be deceitful about this? You gotta be kidding me if you think I don’t like to roll up on a club pretending my machete is a really shiny moustache.

And that’s another thing–come Halloween time, I feel bad for the guy who goes to Movida dressed like Spiderman when the Spiderman at Club Exit just got thrown out for committing five counts of knife murder a/k/a spider-dancing. And imagine all the twin brothers out there, or friends who just sorta look the same, who try to go into two different clubs at the same time–what will happen to their knives? Hey, human bouncers are the worst, but at least when they look at your face, you know where their hands are. They’re on your face.

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