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Lawmaker's bill would allow bars to use face scans, fingerprints to ID customers

ALBANY, NY (WROC) - A new bill introduced in the New York State Assembly would allow businesses serving alcohol to use biometric age verification technology to ID customers.

The bill would allow for customer to complete a facial, eye or fingerprint scan to buy alcohol.

The biometric age verification bill is being presented as a quicker alternative to the ID checks for patrons at bars, restaurants or liquor stores.

Assemblyman Robin Schimminger, who represents Kenmore in the Buffalo area, proposed the bill to provide an additional identification type. Assemblyman Schimminger told News 8 that "this legislation is keeping up with the change of the times and as an option for citizens and an option for businesses."

The scans would function similarly to those already in place at airports nationwide and the whole process would be regulated by the state liquor authority.

Assemblyman Schimminger drew a comparison between the proposed bill to CLEAR, a company that provides a quick and "frictionless experience" through check-ins and security at select airports across the nation.

The businesses themselves would not have access to any of the customer's data other than their name and birth date, Schimminger  says.

Much like CLEAR, this proposed bill would mean that customers would have to pay to enroll in the program, but the tradeoff would be quicker access to their favorite bars.

If this bill seems like it is before its time, that's because it is. Assemblyman Schimminger told News 8 "This is a bill to be filed, just to be filed, not for immediate action."

Assemblyman Schimminger says he doesn't expect the bill to get passed before the end of session next week. But, he hopes to re-submit the legislation next year when there's time for "proper gestation."

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