Instead of Nightclub Patrons, City may Monitor Promoters

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Big Brother is watching. The question is, who's being watched?

    Responding to a surge in incidents of high-profile nightclub violence, the Entertainment Commission is investigating a system that would monitor anyone who goes out at night.

    But Supervisor David Chiu has another idea: instead of monitoring unruly guests, The City could monitor unruly hosts. Under that plan, the Entertainment Commission would keep a database of event promoters, tracking the ones who throw problematic events and working with them to prevent or discourage violence.

    Venue owners would have the ability to search through the database, learning from colleagues and identifying desirable promoters.

    The current system is fairly low-tech: word of mouth.

    Entertainment Commission president Jocelyn Kane expressed some skepticism, since they have a staff of only three people. But creating a simple online database is a pretty simple undertaking -- it could be as rudimentary as a weekend project for a Computer Science student. And of course, something pretty similar already exists: Yelp.

    Chiu's proposal has been in the works since September, whereas the plans to monitor patrons is relatively recent. It's caused some alarm for privacy advocates, who worry that such monitoring would be ripe for abuse and spreading misinformation.