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The Photo ID craze: We need reciprocity!

The Photo ID craze: We need reciprocity!

Old Mar 29, 14, 6:47 pm
  #1  
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The Photo ID craze: We need reciprocity!

As travellers we seem to be facing ever increasing demands to show photo ID. Some of them sort of make sense (customs and immigration), some of them are of dubious merit (checking into a hotel when I've already given them a valid credit card with my name on it, the same name as the reservation), and some are downright ridiculous (I was once asked to show photo ID to use my Visa card at a jewelery store). I'm still trying to figure out why I have to show ID when I board a plane (Air Canada still does it), when everyone at the gate has presumably been screened at security.

By nature I rebel at such demands that have no logical value or purpose. It has occurred to me that the underlying message is, "we don't trust you." So, to the hotelliers out there, why should I trust you any more than you trust me? (If there's one thing hotels and airlines have in common, it is a lack of trustworthiness). Maybe when you ask for my ID, I should ask to see yours. If enough of us start doing it, maybe some of these dolts will get the idea.

I've actually tried it once or twice, and the look of dumbfoundment on people's faces when they realize I'm serious is worth the discomfort it takes to do it the first time.

Just a suggestion to lighten the moment. Try it!
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Old Mar 29, 14, 6:53 pm
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Originally Posted by Sopwith View Post
I'm still trying to figure out why I have to show ID when I board a plane (Air Canada still does it), when everyone at the gate has presumably been screened at security.
Revenue protection... making sure the person who booked the ticket is the one that is flying in order to prevent the scalping of super-low fares to last minute fliers.
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Old Mar 29, 14, 6:57 pm
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The reason why you have to show ID is to protect the consumer from fraud and the retailer or other company from liability. The credit card could have slipped out of your pocket, and somebody could have picked it up and run to the nearest shopping center to charge a bunch of stuff before you became aware and canceled the card. You might not care (beyond the inconvenience of waiting for a new card and dealing with removing the unauthorized charges), but the merchants are still out the merchandise. With the upcoming transition in the USA to chip-and-PIN technology, the merchants will assume ALL liability for fraudulent trasactions....they are not looking forward to it!


Showing ID to get through airport security is different. TSA is trying to prevent dangerous people, not just dangerous goods, from getting into secure areas of airports. So, the airline computers connect to various federal databases and "clear" you before the boarding pass is issued. The TDC is responsible for making sure that you are the same person who is named on the boarding pass that was "cleared" by the databases. In fact, I'm surprised that boarding passes don't have more identifying data on them....birthdates or something similar. (especially since many people have the same first and last name....there could be multiple guys named Joe Smith traveling on the same flight, but one of them requires SSSS treatment and the others are clear....what could happen if they swap boarding passes?)


If you think you have to show ID a lot in the USA, just try living somewhere in South America! In many countries there, you need to show ID in order to PAY CASH at most retailers! (or at least recite your national identity number so that it can be typed into the register)

It shocked me when a pharmacy in Buenos Aires wanted to see my ID when I was paying cash for a bottle of water there, but the locals seemed to be doing it without a second thought.
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Old Mar 29, 14, 7:57 pm
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Originally Posted by ls17031 View Post
Revenue protection... making sure the person who booked the ticket is the one that is flying in order to prevent the scalping of super-low fares to last minute fliers.
Okay, fair enough, so why is it required for some airlines and not others?

Originally Posted by ESpen36 View Post
The reason why you have to show ID is to protect the consumer from fraud and the retailer or other company from liability. The credit card could have slipped out of your pocket, and somebody could have picked it up and run to the nearest shopping center to charge a bunch of stuff before you became aware and canceled the card. You might not care (beyond the inconvenience of waiting for a new card and dealing with removing the unauthorized charges), but the merchants are still out the merchandise. With the upcoming transition in the USA to chip-and-PIN technology, the merchants will assume ALL liability for fraudulent trasactions....they are not looking forward to it!


Showing ID to get through airport security is different. TSA is trying to prevent dangerous people, not just dangerous goods, from getting into secure areas of airports. So, the airline computers connect to various federal databases and "clear" you before the boarding pass is issued. The TDC is responsible for making sure that you are the same person who is named on the boarding pass that was "cleared" by the databases. In fact, I'm surprised that boarding passes don't have more identifying data on them....birthdates or something similar. (especially since many people have the same first and last name....there could be multiple guys named Joe Smith traveling on the same flight, but one of them requires SSSS treatment and the others are clear....what could happen if they swap boarding passes?)


If you think you have to show ID a lot in the USA, just try living somewhere in South America! In many countries there, you need to show ID in order to PAY CASH at most retailers! (or at least recite your national identity number so that it can be typed into the register)

It shocked me when a pharmacy in Buenos Aires wanted to see my ID when I was paying cash for a bottle of water there, but the locals seemed to be doing it without a second thought.
1. The notion that the credit card companies are "protecting the consumer" is utter crap. They demonstrably have no interest in protecting anyone but themselves. They realize they can't backcharge the consumer for fraudulent transactions because the backlash would result in a massive loss of confidence in credit cards, and the loss of revenue would be huge. So the next most logical fall guy is the merchant. However, being from Canada, all my cards have had chip and pin technology for years, so fraudulent use of cards by unauthorized people is relatively uncommon. In any event, it's not my problem, and it doesn't justify indiscriminate demands for photo ID.

2. Good reason not to visit Argentina.

3. I'm amazed (but not really surprised, I guess) that people will attempt to defend the credit card companies. With respect, you're trying to defend the indefensible.

4. By the way, you don't need to show photo ID to get through airport security in Canada. You do need to show it to check in to a US bound airline.
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Old Mar 29, 14, 8:10 pm
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By the way, just to clarify, I have no objection to being asked for photo ID where there is a logical and legitimate reason for it. Often however, there isn't.

Sometimes when I've been asked with no apparent legitimate reason, I have asked what they intend to do with the information they see. Usually I get a shrug, or a mumbled response to the effect that "it's our policy". On other occasions when the person glances at it and hands it back without checking anything, I have asked if they have the names of all the bad guys memorized. Again, the dumbfoundment when they realize the stupidity of what they're being asked to do is entertaining.

All I ask is for a little common sense and logic. Is that too much?
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Old Mar 29, 14, 9:05 pm
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Originally Posted by Sopwith View Post
By the way, just to clarify, I have no objection to being asked for photo ID where there is a logical and legitimate reason for it. Often however, there isn't.

Sometimes when I've been asked with no apparent legitimate reason, I have asked what they intend to do with the information they see. Usually I get a shrug, or a mumbled response to the effect that "it's our policy". On other occasions when the person glances at it and hands it back without checking anything, I have asked if they have the names of all the bad guys memorized. Again, the dumbfoundment when they realize the stupidity of what they're being asked to do is entertaining.

All I ask is for a little common sense and logic. Is that too much?
Yes, way too much
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Old Mar 29, 14, 9:16 pm
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Originally Posted by ESpen36 View Post
The reason why you have to show ID is to protect the consumer from fraud and the retailer or other company from liability. The credit card could have slipped out of your pocket, and somebody could have picked it up and run to the nearest shopping center to charge a bunch of stuff before you became aware and canceled the card. You might not care (beyond the inconvenience of waiting for a new card and dealing with removing the unauthorized charges), but the merchants are still out the merchandise. With the upcoming transition in the USA to chip-and-PIN technology, the merchants will assume ALL liability for fraudulent trasactions....they are not looking forward to it!


Showing ID to get through airport security is different. TSA is trying to prevent dangerous people, not just dangerous goods, from getting into secure areas of airports. So, the airline computers connect to various federal databases and "clear" you before the boarding pass is issued. The TDC is responsible for making sure that you are the same person who is named on the boarding pass that was "cleared" by the databases. In fact, I'm surprised that boarding passes don't have more identifying data on them....birthdates or something similar. (especially since many people have the same first and last name....there could be multiple guys named Joe Smith traveling on the same flight, but one of them requires SSSS treatment and the others are clear....what could happen if they swap boarding passes?)


If you think you have to show ID a lot in the USA, just try living somewhere in South America! In many countries there, you need to show ID in order to PAY CASH at most retailers! (or at least recite your national identity number so that it can be typed into the register)

It shocked me when a pharmacy in Buenos Aires wanted to see my ID when I was paying cash for a bottle of water there, but the locals seemed to be doing it without a second thought.
The part about having to show ID in Argentina to pay cash for purchases is complete misinformation. Cash transactions over a certain amount (1500 ARS I believe) will prompt a cashier to ask for a CUIL/CUIT which is a taxpayer ID number. A bottle of water costs between 10-20 ARS in a pharmacy.
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Old Mar 29, 14, 9:19 pm
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OT but every once I get really snarky when asked about ID:

Do you you have a diver's license? Yes. (with no other action on my part).

Can I see your identification? Not unless you have xray vision, it is in my wallet.

On topic, I understand the request in most cases. Usually, they give a quick look that is more of going through the motions. Pretty much like TDC at the airport.
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Old Mar 29, 14, 9:59 pm
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Originally Posted by ls17031 View Post
Revenue protection... making sure the person who booked the ticket is the one that is flying in order to prevent the scalping of super-low fares to last minute fliers.
And also, in the case of international travel, to ensure that the person boarding that flight has an authority to enter their destination country and hasn't switched BPs with someone else.
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Old Mar 29, 14, 10:00 pm
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For places requiring ID to use a credit card, just pay cash.
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Old Mar 29, 14, 10:40 pm
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Originally Posted by Sopwith View Post
1. The notion that the credit card companies are "protecting the consumer" is utter crap. They demonstrably have no interest in protecting anyone but themselves. They realize they can't backcharge the consumer for fraudulent transactions because the backlash would result in a massive loss of confidence in credit cards, and the loss of revenue would be huge. So the next most logical fall guy is the merchant. However, being from Canada, all my cards have had chip and pin technology for years, so fraudulent use of cards by unauthorized people is relatively uncommon. In any event, it's not my problem, and it doesn't justify indiscriminate demands for photo ID.
When merchants have to eat the costs of credit card fraud, they pass it on to us in the form of higher prices. If a merchant asking for an ID for a credit card purchase will help deter fraud and prevent me paying more for my stuff, I will gladly take the extra 5 seconds to show them my ID.
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Old Mar 29, 14, 10:51 pm
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I believe it is against AMEX T&C for the merchant to ask for ID with the exception of purchasing age restricted items such as alcohol and tobacco.
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Old Mar 29, 14, 11:32 pm
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The Photo ID craze: We need reciprocity!

Keep in mind that showing ID at hotels is required by law in most countries (especially Europe.) It's registered with the police and is part of the immigration system they have set up.
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Old Mar 30, 14, 1:11 am
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Originally Posted by Rock Harders View Post
The part about having to show ID in Argentina to pay cash for purchases is complete misinformation. Cash transactions over a certain amount (1500 ARS I believe) will prompt a cashier to ask for a CUIL/CUIT which is a taxpayer ID number. A bottle of water costs between 10-20 ARS in a pharmacy.
The part about having to show ID to spend cash in many South American countries is also misinformation. I've spent cash in most South American countries, and ID is rarely required to spend cash at retail stores.

Originally Posted by LoneTree View Post
Keep in mind that showing ID at hotels is required by law in most countries (especially Europe.) It's registered with the police and is part of the immigration system they have set up.
I've stayed in hundreds of hotels in Europe and checked in without photo ID.
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Old Mar 30, 14, 1:22 am
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Originally Posted by Sopwith View Post
Okay, fair enough, so why is it required for some airlines and not others?
Can't think of any Canadian airlines that don't check at least once. Can you provide some examples of those that do not?
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