Forget Your ID — Your Face Could Verify Your Age When Purchasing Alcohol Biometric systems utilizing facial recognition and palm scans are becoming popular methods for verifying age when purchasing alcohol at liquor stores and event venues.

By Madeline Garfinkle

Key Takeaways

  • Facial recognition and palm scans are already being used at several venues and retailers across the country.
  • Despite the arguments for convenience, some groups are concerned about privacy.

Next time you order a beer, the bartender might scan your face instead of asking for ID.

A new frontier of age verification is emerging: biometric systems that can "read" your face or palm to determine if you're old enough to order an adult beverage, Axios reported.

"We know that people are not that good at estimating age," Andrew O'Brien, product manager at Innovative Technology Ltd (the company behind a facial recognition system called MyCheckr), told the outlet. "As we get older, policemen look younger, dentists, doctors all look younger — we're best at estimating people's age closer to our own age."

Several venues have already implemented biometric ID systems for age verification. At Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, football fans enrolled in CLEAR's ID system can order alcohol from their seats using facial recognition on their phones.

Similarly, customers at a brewery in Coors Field can verify their age by waving their palms over a scanner, provided they are enrolled in Amazon One's system — which they can also use to pay by palm at Whole Foods. Some systems require pre-enrollment, while others estimate a person's age using neural networks at checkout.

Related: Amazon Tech Will Let You Pay at Whole Foods in the Most Organic Way Possible — With a Scan of Your Hand

Those advocating for biometric systems argue that they offer convenience and efficiency for both vendors and consumers. However, there are concerns in regard to privacy and the possibility of racial discrimination.

A group called Ban Facial Recognition has started a petition to stop the use of facial scanning in stores as the practice becomes more integrated — calling the technology "biased, invasive, and dangerous."

"We cannot buy into the myth that it's convenient to use biometric data to speed up purchases — there is nothing convenient about risking your most sensitive, irreplaceable personal information to buy a drink," a spokesperson for the movement told Entrepreneur.

Regarding privacy concerns, Sam Hall, CFO at CLEAR, told Axios that "no information is ever shared with a partner without your explicit consent."

Madeline Garfinkle

Entrepreneur Staff

News Writer

Madeline Garfinkle is a News Writer at She is a graduate from Syracuse University, and received an MFA from Columbia University. 

Editor's Pick

Related Topics

Cryptocurrency / Blockchain

Why the Next Crypto Bull Run Will Be Like Nothing We've Ever Experienced

We are on the precipice of what could be the greatest transfer of wealth that has ever happened in human history.

Business News

Gen Z's Main Career Aspiration Is to Be an Influencer, According to a New Report

Over half of Gen Z individuals surveyed expressed a desire to become influencers, compared to 41% of adults from other age groups.

Growing a Business

A 5-Time Founder Shares His Best Success Tips

Godard Abel's sold businesses to Oracle and Salesforce, and these are the three biggest secrets to his success.

Business News

Disney Is Investing a Massive Sum to Expand Its Theme Parks and Cruises

The company made the $60 billion revelation in an SEC filing earlier this week.