BarLink - BarWatch - SecureClub - EnterSafe

  · Background
  · So What?
  · The Law
  · Who?
  · What to Avoid
  · True Stories

 BarLink: Stealing Your Personal Info & Putting You at Risk!  

Introducing...
BarLink!
BarWatch rebranded!
Same shit!
Same pile!
Same company!


(oops, don't forget "SecureClub" too!)
(oh, and now "EnterSafe", lol)

It's a new year and a new name for BarWatch! I guess all the bad publicity we drummed up about their illegal scheme must have driven them to seek shelter under a new name (www.barlink.ca). Pretty crafty. They sure must think you're really dumb. You know a company is reputable and trustworthy when they have to keep changing their name.

If you don't know what BarWatch/BarLink is, you may want to go read all about them now. Your personal privacy and safety may depend on it.

This time the BarLink scum have supposedly put their focus on "your privacy", as opposed to last time where their focus was clearly stated as being the "stealing and selling of your very private information". They have been claiming to the media that every customer is informed that their information will be taken and what it will be used for. And that the customer must consent to these terms before their personal information is scanned off their ID. However, we've visited several bars that are using BarLink and this policy is not followed at all. Not even close. *GRAB* *SWIPE* "Thanks for all your info!" Same routine as they've always used to steal your personal information and violate your privacy.

So What?

You may be saying "So what? I have nothing to hide."

If that is the case then you are part of the problems currently plaguing our crumbling society. You don't deserve the last measly remnants of privacy and freedom that you still barely have. Privacy is a fundamental value in a democratic society.

"Privacy is related entirely to the degree to which we respect each other as unique individuals, each with our own sets of values which we are entitled to make known or not as we see fit. To truly respect your neighbour, you must grant that person a private life. Respecting one another's privacy means the difference between a life of liberty, autonomy and dignity, and a hollow and intimidating existence under a cloud of constant oppressive surveillance." —Bruce Phillips, Privacy Commissioner of Canada, 1999

The BarLink reader actually SCANS AN IMAGE OF YOUR WHOLE ID, it doesn't just read the barcode. This enables them to steal your picture, your home address, your birthday, your height, your weight, and your signature.

Here are some plausable potential abuses of the information in the BarLink database:

  1. When the auto insurance companies start buying this data from BarLink to see how often you visit the bar what do you think is going to happen to your already inflated insurance rates?
  2. Try getting affordable life insurance when they can check with BarLink to see how often you go out drinking.
  3. Criminals break into the BarLink database and begin creating duplicate ID's from the images of your ID which are stored on the BarLink system. With those ID cards they can then easily open bank accounts, get credit cards, rent cars and other equipment, all in your name and you will be held responsible by authorities.
  4. Warrant out for your arrest? Too many traffic tickets? I'm sure the alarm bells will sound at the nearest police station as soon as your ID is scanned into BarLink. The Police can just swing by to pick you up.
  5. A cop stops you and it indicates on his Mobile Data Terminal that you were scanned into the BarLink system at a bar nearby 4 hours ago. Step out of the car please...
  6. Prospective employers check with BarLink before hiring you to see how you spend your off-hours.
  7. Alternative lifestyle? Do you want just anyone finding out about the stripper bars or gay clubs you've been going to? Employers? Insurance companies? Your family? BarLink knows all your secrets.

The Law (and how it's being broken)

What BarLink is doing is ILLEGAL! And yet it is supported by the POLICE! Under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (www.privcom.gc.ca/information/02_05_d_08_e.asp)
"*The law requires organizations to:*
* obtain your consent when they collect, use or disclose your personal information;
* supply you with a product or a service even if you refuse consent for the collection, use or disclosure of your personal information unless that information is essential to the transaction;
* collect information by fair and lawful means; and
* have personal information policies that are clear, understandable and readily available.
"

You can write our privacy commissioner stating your opposition to this BarLink privacy invasion system. (http://www.privcom.gc.ca/) Demand that action be taken to shut down the BarLink network.

    The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
    112 Kent Street
    Place de Ville
    Tower B, 3rd Floor
    Ottawa, Ontario
    K1A 1H3

Who are these creeps?

Tough to say exactly. Since we first started bringing attention to them these shady characters have become even more shady and are now taking steps to try and protect their own personal privacy while they profit from abusing yours. Of course they're not too bright (as evidenced by the "security" in place on their systems) and they have left a pile of evidence which shows that BarLink and BarWatch are the same group.

On their new website (www.barlink.ca) it says their "headquarters" is located at:

    Box 82070
    2037 111 Street NW
    Edmonton AB  T6J 4V0

WoW! Their headquartes is a... mailbox? How does your whole "team of developers and designers" fit into that tiny little mail box? And why does their website look like shit if they have a whole team of designers?

And this time around they have an [invasion of] "privacy officer".. he can be reached at [email protected] or at (780) 405-1045. The other e-mail address listed is [email protected].

Read the original BarWatch article for more information about the slimeballs that started this system.

SecureClub.ca is another outfit peddling this scamware.

    SecureClub Corporation Box #72034
    R.P.O. Glenmore Landing
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    T2V 5H9

    Administrative Contact 
    Name  Satnam Sidhu  
    Job Title   
    Postal Address  box 72034 gelnmore landing Calgary AB T2V 5H9 Canada  
    Phone  403-213-1974  
    Fax   
    Email  [email protected]  
     
    Technical Contact  
    Name  Grant Orr  
    Job Title   
    Postal Address  box 72034 Glenmore Landing Calgary AB T2V 5H9 Canada  
    Phone   
    Fax   
    Email  [email protected]  
    

November 25, 2009, reader "Matt" writes:

    I was just looking at your information about Barwatch and thought you might like to have some updated information. Jeff Christie is the owner of BCAL Software.

    [email protected]
    www.bcal.biz
    21323 - 91 Ave
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T5T 6Y9
    780-983-8610

If you have any further information regarding BarLink/BarWatch, SecureClub, EnterSafe, the people behind it, or any clubs that are using it, please .

Do your part;
    Boycott all establishments using BarWatch.
        Oops, I mean 'BarLink' *wink*

Be alert when entering a bar or club. Make sure they are not using BarLink/BarWatch/SecureClub/etc before allowing the doorman to see your ID. The following clubs are reported to be using Barlink/BarWatch/SecureClub/etc. Clubs using such systems clearly don't care about your personal privacy and safety at all. Call some of these places, ask to speak to a manager, and tell them you will never go to their club again as long as they use these privacy invasion systems.

Some of the bars listed only use the BarLink/BarWatch/SecureClub/EnterSafe system on Friday and Saturday nights. If this system is there for your protection, then it is quite clear they only care about protecting you two nights of the week! I guess they are more than happy to take money from clients that may have been kicked out of every other club in the city for violent behaviour as long as it's a slow weeknight.

Canada

  • Alberta
    • Bonneyville
      • Wetlander Bar and Grill
    • Calgary
      • Cowboys, 826 5th Street, (403) 265-0699
      • Coyotes, 1088 Olympic Way, (403) 263-5343
      • Outlaws, #24 7400 Mcleod Trail, (403) 255-4646
      • Tantra Nightclub & Lounge, 355-10th Ave SW, (403) 264-0202
      • The Den and Black Lounge, U of C - MacEwan Hall, (403) 220-6551
      • The Palace Nightclub, 219 8th Ave SW, (403) 263-9980
      • ??? - Where else?
    • Edmonton
      • Armoury Dance Lounge, 10310 85 Ave, (780) 702-1800
      • Bank Ultra Lounge, 10765 Jasper Avenue
      • Barwild, 10552-82 Ave, (780) 405-1000
      • Ceili's Irish Pub, 109th Street & Jasper Ave
      • Cook County Saloon, 8010 Gateway Blvd, (780) 432-2665
      • Cowboys, 10102 180 Street NW, (780) 481-8739
      • Diamonds Gentlemen's Club, 4635 Gateway Blvd, (780) 428-2527
      • Docks Pub, #147 Londonderry Mall
      • Druid, 11606 Jasper Avenue, (780) 454-9928
      • Escape Ultra Lounge, WEM 8882 - 170 St, (780) 489-1330
      • Greenhouse, 13103 Fort Rd, (780) 472-9898
        [Some people say they have it, they say they don't.]
      • Hudsons Tap House (south), 6107 104 St, (780) 701-0190
      • Hudsons Tap House (whyte), 10307 Whyte Ave, (780) 433-4526
      • Iron Horse, 8101 103 St, (780) 438-1907
      • Ivory Club and Ebony Lounge, 2940 Calgary Trail South, (780) 465-6800
      • Nashville's Electric Roadhouse, 2557 WEM 8770-170 St, (780) 489-1330
      • Oil City Roadhouse, 10736 - Jasper Ave, (780) 686-5563
      • Pawn Shop, 10549 82 Ave, (780) 916-1557
      • Prohibition, 11026 Jasper Avenue, (780) 420-0448
      • Purple Onion, 8032 104 St, (780) 433-9616
      • Red's, #2556, 8882 - 170 St. West Edmonton Mall, (780) 481-6420
      • Rum Jungle, 2687-8882 170 St. West Edmonton Mall, (780) 486-9494
      • The Drink, 2940 Calgary Trail South, (780) 430-4567
      • The Joint Nightlife, 8882-170 St. West Edmonton Mall, (780) 486-3013
      • The Juice, 8770 170 St, (780) 444-5999
      • The Ranch Roadhouse, 6107 104 Street NW, (780) 438-2582
      • Tonic After Dark, 9920 - 62 Avenue, (780) 408-2877
      • Y Afterhours, 10028 102 St, (780) 994-3256
      • ??? - Where else?
    • Grande Prairie
      • The Corral, 11920 100 St, (780) 831-7320
      • ??? - Where else?
  • British Columbia
    • Chilliwack
      • Earls Restaurant, 45585 Luckakuck Way, (604) 858-3360
    • Kamploops
      • Cactus Jacks Saloon, 130 5th Avenue, (250) 374-7289
    • Langley
      • Vanilla Room, 201-6001 196A Street, (604) 530-2026
    • Vancouver
      • Au Bar, 674 Seymour Street, (604) 648-2227
      • Bar None, 1222 Hamilton Street
      • Bourbon, 50 Cordova St W, (604) 684-4214
      • Caprice Nightclub, 967 Granville Street, (604) 681-2114
      • Doolins Irish Pub, 654 Nelson St at Granville, (604) 605-4328
      • Plaza Nightclub, 881 Granville Street, (604) 646-0064
      • Republic, 958 Granville Street, (604) 669-3266
      • Roxy Nightclub, 932 Granville Street, (604) 331-7999
      • Skybar, 670 Smithe Street, (604) 697-9199
      • Stone Temple, 1082 Granville Street, (604) 488-1333
      • The Modern, 7 Alexander Street
      • The Red Room, 398 Richards Street
      • The Shark Club, 180 West Georgia St, (604) 687-4275
      • Tonic, 919 Granville Street, (604) 669-0469
      • Wild Coyote, 1312 SW. Marine Drive, (604) 264-7625
      • ??? - Where else?
    • Victoria
      • Barcode Nightclub
      • Bard and Banker Public House
      • Darcy’s Pub
      • Element Nightclub
      • Evolution Nightclub
      • Irish Times Pub
      • Lucky Bar
      • Plan B Nightclub
      • Smith’s Bar and Restaurant
      • Social Club
      • Soprano’s Karaoke and Sports Bar
      • Touch Nightclub
      • Upstairs Cabaret
  • Manitoba
    • Brandon
      • Great Western Roadhouse Bar & Grill, Canad Inns, 1125-18th Street, (204) 727-1422
    • The Pas
      • Fusions
      • ??? - Where else?
  • New Brunswick
    • Moncton
      • Voodoo Nightclub, 938 Mountain Road, (506) 858-8844
        [Some people say they have it, they say they don't.]
      • ??? - Where else?
  • Nova Scotia
    • Halifax
      • Boomers Lounge, 1725 Grafton Street, (902) 425-5260
      • The Liquor Dome, Argyle and Grafton Street
      • ??? - Where else?
  • Ontario
    • Brockville
      • Buds on the Bay / O2, 17 Broad Street, (613) 345-4341
      • ??? - Where else?

Be Informed — Protect Yourself

"Privacy is the claim of individuals, groups, or institutions to determine for themselves when, how, and to what extent information about them is communicated to others." —Professor Alan Westin, 1967

Warning! Bars taking private info from cards: Jennifer Stewart, Halifax Herald, August 13, 2003.

Check out the BarWatch (aka BarLink) article in Vue Weekly (#465), page 5, July 2004.

And from Global News, December 22, 2004: Check out this citizen's complaint and how these BarLink crooks won't identify themselves. They contradict themselves by saying nobody has access to the customer's information, yet on their website (www.barlink.ca) they state that the club owners as well as other workers at bars have access to your personal information. Shady. Get your story straight guys. It is also inferred that the Police are still involved with this illegal system. Nice. Mistrust authority!

February 7, 2005, reader KPN writes: "Outlaws nightclub in Calgary uses this and I have always wondered why they needed such a system in place. I have now read both of your articles on the BarWatch/BarLink (or whatever the hell they call themselves now) and got a little curious. One evening while coming from one bar to another (Outlaws), I decided that I didn't want them to scan my ID. I gave it to the bouncers outside for the mandatory age check and simply paid my cover fee to the lady inside. She then tells me that I have to have my ID scanned, well that's when I refused her. She called over one of the bouncers and told him that I refused to allow them to scan me into their system. The bouncer then proceeded to escort me right back outside where he went on and on about how you MUST be scanned upon entrance."

March 17, 2005, reader Chaos Syndrome writes: "The Liquor Dome in Halifax is using the Barwatch system. I recently *inquired* into their practices, and was met by strong resistance ultimately resulting in my ejection from the premises, and the video tape stolen from my camera."

April 22, 2005, reader MH writes: "I'm a 21 year old university student at the UofA, and my boyfriend just recently informed me that they weren't just scanning a barcode....no no, they're basically taking a freaking picture of your entire licence!!! I was absolutely outraged and thought to myself "they can't do that, it's illegal!"
So I was invited to someone's birthday party at the Globe (in Edmonton). When I got to the trashy blonde woman working the computer of evil, she asked for my ID. I casually and courteously said "oh don't worry, I've already been ID'd." She says "well we have to scan your ID." I knew she was going to say this, so I asked her why and what for. She couldn't give me a straight up answer. I told her I wasn't comfortable giving her all of my information, especially if I don't know who's seeing it. She said I wouldn't be able to go into the bar without scanning my ID. I started to get really angry and my loud left wing voice came out. I started telling her that it was an INVASION of PRIVACY, then I saw the bouncers come my way.
"Is there a problem, miss?" the big guy said to me. "yeah there's a problem. I don't want my ID scanned. It's my information, not yours."
He then proceeded to tell me that those were "just the rules" and if I didn't like it I would have to leave.
So I totally boycott all those stupid places, but I'm wondering if there's any way that I can be erased from the database or if I can get my information "back" from them. Can I put up a huge stink the next time I go out and bring a printed out version of the PIPEDA??? I want to take these people down. I want the bars to stop stealing identities and start taking responsibilities for what they are doing. If you have any suggestions, please let me know."

July 13, 2005, reader Chris M. writes: "There is another organization similar to Barlink called SecureClub (www.secureclub.ca) which provides the same sort of service to clubs."

November 26, 2005, reader 'Nicole' writes: "When I presented my ID at Stonehouse in Edmonton and asked for it not to be scanned, I was refused entry to the bar. However, my male friend who had NO ID was allowed access -- all he had to do was pay off a bouncer for $20."

January 14, 2006, reader Kelly B. writes: "I had the same experience, guy grabs your DL, hands it off to another guy who scans it without you knowing what happened, all happened just before Christmas at The Wild Coyote in Vancouver. I even called the Inspector of the Vancouver police who "oversees" this garbage and he told me not to worry they won't involve me in any marketing, what a farce."

August 11, 2006, reader Ian Miller writes: "Hi, After seeing an article from 2003 on your site by Jennifer Stewart/Halifax Herald I contacted her to do a followup on the same bar not following the privacy guidelines. Wow, I ended up in the newspaper and on TV for 2 days.
The article I did with her is at
http://thechronicleherald.ca/Metro/520788.html
I've written a response to it and the tv interview here
http://hypnohippo.com/id_card_swiping_at_canadian_club.html
Please link them on the site, and digg it on digg.com
http://digg.com/security/ID_scan_upsets_bar_customer
Thanks!"

March 21, 2007, reader Andrew M. writes: "I went to this lame trendy club recently in Langley, BC, called the "Vanilla Room". Not only did they scan my ID magstripe style, they also literally SCANNED it with a scanner attached to a desktop PC. This was outside at 9pm on a cold-ass night. They actually had a full PC set up out there, and they have it every week. Fucked up. Anyway I managed to scope out the shitty LCD monitor and determined the "security" system they used is called "IntelliBar" by a company called Servall and seems every bit as sketchy and privacy-invading as BarWatch. You can see their painfully stereotypical site here: http://www.servalldata.com/ There is some info on their site about how the data from all bars that use IntelliBar is, fucking amazingly, stored on ONE server run by IntelliBar. Nice!! Now all the malicious peepz out there have one handy-dandy source for all their identity-theft needs! ( http://www.servalldata.com/features.html - notice how they also use the highly advanced Microsoft .NET 2.0 framework, oh and WIRELESS! I feel very very inclined to bring the laptop out there and see what kind of data I can sniff up)..."

April 10, 2007, Barwatch Chairman John Teti writes: "There should be absolutely no expectation of privacy." (Vancouver Sun)

November, 8, 2007, reader Loft Concert writes: "I just went to this night club and had my ID scanned. Pawn Shop at 10551 82 ave, Edmonton. I am sending the club and Barlink a letter telling them to remove my information from their systems. I will also CC copies of the letter to Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner in Alberta and The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. By the way, they didn't ask for my consent before scanning my ID into their system. Very unsettling."

November 21, 2007, reader 'Fish' writes: "and if you must go to a club in Vancouver (I usually try to avoid it :-)) you can't go wrong with the Lotus... still unpretentious (for the most part), still booking GREAT music (some of the time... but definitely on Saturdays, when it really counts!), and still doesn't have one of those "BarStarWatch" camera/fingerprint/cavitysearch units, manned by testosterone idiots and smarmy vacant-smiled coatcheck harpies... like a certain club I won't mention that I ended up in last weekend for Talvin Singh. Oh, that would make it The Modern, right? Seriously, with all due respect to Talvin and to the promoters that brought him here... DON'T SUPPORT DONNELLY NIGHTCLUBS (Republic, Bar None, and The Modern... see http://dhmbars.ca) and other clubs that use the BarWatch (aka BarLink) system, unless you want to help feed the police-state mentality! I was in shock at the security precautions there (PHOTOS taken of my ID and of me, and full pat-down/metal detector/"empty your pockets" check, even a 2nd time, after stepping outside for a smoke... not to mention the audacity to charge me $6 in coatcheck for two items, a jacket and A ONE FOOT LONG UMBRELLA that I asked if it could be "hung on the same hanger" and they said yes... what? Were they worried that it was a concealed weapon?) And if you REALLY want to get angry, imagine if after scanning your ID they then sold your personal info to marketers, so that they knew what kind of bars you like! Check out http://www.hackcanada.com/canadian/freedom/barwatch/barwatch.html if you don't believe me... and please don't tell me that "these systems are to keep bars safe from gun-toting gangsters and trouble makers..." because that's shit. I saw WAYYYY more gangster wanna-be's in that club (though without their weapons, thankfully they were safely stashed in the "VIP-only Weapon Check and complimentary blowjob" area) than I would in The Lotus or Club 23 (home of Organix), and THEY don't need BarStarWatch to keep patrons "safe". It's the worst combination of all: anti-terrorist fearmongering and shameless market-driven datamining, both of them destroying privacy and both of them not just tolerated but WELCOMED by people who are too brainwashed to figure out what's really going on here..."

December 1, 2008, reader Micahel V. writes "Good Day, I have recently embarked on a quest to have my personal information (which was collected without my consent) removed from the bar link database. It was through this quest that I discovered your web site. An interesting judgment was passed this past February by the Alberta Office of the Privacy commissioner requiring a Calgary establishment to stop using their ID scanning equipment and destroy their records. I thought it may be of some interest to the visitors of your site. http://www.oipc.ab.ca/ims/client/upload/P2006-011.pdf
In this order, the Information and Privacy commissioner declares that the collection of drivers license information is unauthorized under the Personal information Protection act, he also states doubts about the information security, and lists the argument that these systems reduce violence in clubs is circumstantial at best."

January 26, 2010, reader Chris H. writes: "I just noticed that on barlink's website they have screenshots of thier software, and under the personal information section it states RACE. I thought it was illegal to have race information collected from anyone! (I guess it helps with the marketing) And also, they show an Alberta ID of some girl where you can totally see her information. Her personal info is VERY secure."

April 22, 2010, reader Nick writes "After doing some research after catching a doorman at the Bourbon in Vancouver taking my information without telling me, I have determined that the BarWatch system has successfully rebranded itself as "EnterSafe" and is now operating incognito in quite a few bars and nightclubs around town. Interestingly, according to this, anyone using the system must give notice as information is collected, so this is effectively illegal. I've also noticed several establishments using fisheye cameras at the door to take photographs inconspicuously, again without notice or consent. This is all the more alarming because absolutely nobody knows it is happening. After grilling a doorman I got him to admit that they were collecting my information but claimed it was legal thanks to the new "24-hour" rule, which is true if they were doing it in an open and honest manner (which they are clearly not). Many of my friends believe BarWatch was shut down in 2009 and it is no longer happening, while this is clearly not the case - it is just doing it in secret, in explicit violation of the rules in 2009 which were established to allow for continued operation."

 

CYBØRG/ASM
2005/12/01

Updated: 2011/10/16

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