Your birthdate please – I need to enter it into the computers if you want to by cigarets.
This is what I heard said to the woman in front of me at a Walgreens across the street from my hotel in Memphis, TN. I inquired to the store clerk if this was the law to ask for someone’s birth date and enter it into the computer and she said yes for cigarets and ‘other items’ (I didn’t find out what they were). It seems that here in TN they have begun to break down the separation between the issuance of documents that assert one is over 18 and the presentation of those same documents to engage in commerce.
I wonder how many other states have similar laws. It makes me a bit nervous to think about the potential for states to require the swiping of an identity card to make such purchase. With all of the new tools we are creating that are to empower people how do we ensure they are not abused. Maybe Bob was right – if we build them then we should expect them to be abused by requiring people to turn over certain kinds of data they have about themselves. And so we should not build them.
I am inspired by the possibilities for empowerment but this little incident really makes me wonder.