A lawsuit filed earlier this week by the owners of recently shut down SoHo nightclubs Greenhouse and W.i.P. now alleges the New York Police Department have had access to a database that held scanned identification from every patron who entered them.
According to the New York Times, Greenhouse has been facing permanent closure for quite some time. In an effort to appease the city, the owners signed an agreement in March 2011 that forced them to scan the ID of all patrons who entered the nightclub. This information was held in a private database for at least 30 days and was required to be provided to the police upon request.
“I wonder how many people would be thrilled to learn that there is a permanent record of everything they do in this club, as well as a police file with their identifying information,” Donna Lieberman, Executive Director of the New York Civil Liberties Union told the New York Times. “This is using police powers as a blunt instrument, instead of a targeted law enforcement tool.” She also said maintaining a database that police officials had direct access to was unusual.
According to the Times article, many nightclubs in New York City entered into similar agreements with the NYPD in 2007, but information as to which ones, if any, are available at the time.
GaySocialites.com can attest, however, that Greenhouse has broken their agreement on more than numerous occasions, as many of the staff have never been asked to flash their mugshots to anyone there before.