Grant 42/08-09: ID scanners in the night-time economy: social sorting or social order?

ID scanners are rapidly expanding as a key security technology in Australia and internationally, and are promoted as a primary method for solving the ongoing and serious social problem of violence in and around late-night licensed venues. This is the first systematic study examining the introduction of ID scanners in the night-time economy. This research has identified strong beliefs favouring the introduction and reception of ID scanners through interview evidence, particularly with the owners or managers of licensed premises and venue patrons, but very little empirical support for their impact in reducing assaults in and around late-night venues. The research indicates the need to act judiciously in the expansion of ID scanners and suggests immediate policy development is vital concerning the regulation of currently deployed ID scanner systems and databases. Finally, the research indicates the need for further and more detailed examination of the impact of ID scanners in other locations, their potential displacement effects and the growing surveillance and data-matching capacity for combined databases operating at a state/territory or national level.