The hospitality industry in Australia’s state of New South Wales is being recruited by the local government to make sure that their patrons’ personal data like names and other details are logged and kept electronically via the use of a QR code.
The establishments who fail to “catalog” their customers in this way will face penalties.
The system, integrated into a state-produced app, goes live on November 23, and the reason behind it is said to be to ensure strict coronavirus contact tracing.
In Australia, however, those “venturing out” to lunch or coffee, but also to get married or attend a funeral, can now expect to be recorded with their contact details, while the authorities are reportedly giving these establishments a free hand at retaining this electronic data.
But that’s not all, as the new rules apply to anything from crematoria, aquariums, education, and amusement facilities, auction houses, beauty salons, party houses, pubs, brothels, and of course, government facilities.
The state government in NSW introduced the QR code scanner designed to trace contacts of potentially infected people back in September, to be implemented in hospitality establishments as well as in Service NSW – a government agency that provides access to its services online, by phone or in person, including the state’s transport, fair trading, births, deaths, and marriages.
In other words, it’s pretty comprehensive and used by everyone – who will now have to be logged for contact tracing.
But Minister for Customer Service (of Service NSW) Victor Dominello spelled it out: “We have to move away from the walk-in culture to the check-in culture.”
And if the internet fails, the recommendation is to use spreadsheets to keep track of people (specifically Excel, the same program that’s already caused problems in the UK where Public Health England lost close to 16,000 COVID-19 test results thanks to these Microsoft products.)
Over in Australia, one-time fines for venues ignoring the new rules will reach up to 11,000 Australian dollars, 6 months in prison, or both -and a further $5,500 penalty could apply for each day the “offense” continues.