Privacy commissioner now investigating liquor store ID pilot project; Alcanna 'disappointed'
EDMONTON -- Alberta's privacy commissioner is investigating after a northeast Edmonton liquor store began to scan customer's IDs upon entry Monday.
Alcanna Inc., which owns Liquor Depot, Wine and Beyond and Ace Liquor, and the Edmonton Police Service, installed an ID verification system as part of a pilot project aimed at reducing theft.
Customers have to scan their ID to gain entry to the store, and if valid ID is not scanned, the doors to the store remain locked.
On Tuesday, the privacy commissioner said she was not consulted before the pilot project was launched and asserted Alcanna's and PatronScan's claims that the system follows privacy laws are "misleading."
A day later, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner announced it would investigate to determine whether this technology is compliant with the Personal Information Protection Act.
On Friday, Alcanna expressed dissapointment over the investigation, saying the technology is "in full compliance with Canadian privacy laws."
"The Patroscan technology has been utilized in nightclubs and bars for years, the only change is the venue in which it is being utilized."
However, Alcanna added it looks forward to working with the privacy commisioner during the investigation.
Edmonton police responded to more than 9,500 thefts from liquor stores in 2019 — an average of 26 per day. There were 3,273 liquor store thefts in 2018.