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Where Does the Info Go?

Heymatt:

I went to a show recently, and the club had this device to check my ID. They swiped my driver's license, and my age and name were displayed. I told them I didn't want them to swipe my card; if they need to verify my age, then they can look at my license and do the math. What sort of info are they taking from swiping my card? Are they selling it to marketing groups? Are they keeping tabs on me and collecting data? What are my rights? I told the guy I didn't want to have my card swiped, and he said that I had no choice. I just don't trust the whole process.

-- Nick in the valley

San Diego's Privacy Rights Clearing House has looked into the issue of mag strips on California drivers' licenses. They're satisfied that the data strip mirrors the front of the license, with the exception of the photo. (Your Social Security number is not on the strip.) You get no info by swiping that you don't get by reading. But another purpose of swiping is to find counterfeit licenses. It's harder to fake the strip than it is to fake the front of the license. So if the front and back match, the club figures its butt is covered. They have no interest in having their license yanked by the ABC for selling booze to minors with phony IDs.

Theoretically, we're protected by California Civil Code Section 1798.90.1, which gives businesses the right to swipe but says they can't save or "use" the info except for identification purposes. The vast majority of businesses are going to comply. Too much is at risk for whatever pennies they'd earn for selling you out. You might have more to fear from the company that makes the swiping software, if they have access to the swiped data. But, all things considered, studies show we're much more vulnerable to identity thieves who steal paper from our mailboxes or trash cans. So we say, go to clubs, buy a shredder.

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Heymatt:

I went to a show recently, and the club had this device to check my ID. They swiped my driver's license, and my age and name were displayed. I told them I didn't want them to swipe my card; if they need to verify my age, then they can look at my license and do the math. What sort of info are they taking from swiping my card? Are they selling it to marketing groups? Are they keeping tabs on me and collecting data? What are my rights? I told the guy I didn't want to have my card swiped, and he said that I had no choice. I just don't trust the whole process.

-- Nick in the valley

San Diego's Privacy Rights Clearing House has looked into the issue of mag strips on California drivers' licenses. They're satisfied that the data strip mirrors the front of the license, with the exception of the photo. (Your Social Security number is not on the strip.) You get no info by swiping that you don't get by reading. But another purpose of swiping is to find counterfeit licenses. It's harder to fake the strip than it is to fake the front of the license. So if the front and back match, the club figures its butt is covered. They have no interest in having their license yanked by the ABC for selling booze to minors with phony IDs.

Theoretically, we're protected by California Civil Code Section 1798.90.1, which gives businesses the right to swipe but says they can't save or "use" the info except for identification purposes. The vast majority of businesses are going to comply. Too much is at risk for whatever pennies they'd earn for selling you out. You might have more to fear from the company that makes the swiping software, if they have access to the swiped data. But, all things considered, studies show we're much more vulnerable to identity thieves who steal paper from our mailboxes or trash cans. So we say, go to clubs, buy a shredder.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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