If you're anything like me, you are looking forward to finally getting out of your house and maybe having a few drinks or a nice dinner at your local bar or restaurant. But going out to your local bar or restaurant once the lockdown ends comes with a steep price.
That's because three cities, in Louisiana, Texas and Missouri, will only allow non-essential businesses to reopen if they agree to collect customers personal information.
According to NOLA Ready, The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the city of New Orleans are creating a "new normal" by forcing bars and restaurants to collect customers personal information.
"We know everyone is eager to reopen. It's not going back to normal; it's what we're calling 'the new normal.' It will be the data and not the date that drives not only the decision but the phased approach to reopen the City of New Orleans. Today, we are outlining what those guidelines will be for the City," said Mayor Latoya Cantrell.
As Forbes.com explains the "new normal" is for bars and restaurants to become government snitches.
"New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced business owners will be required to keep logs of the names and contact information of patrons who enter their establishments once the Big Easy reopens to help with contact tracing—a move that Cantrell called part of the new normal, as New Orleans and Louisiana plan to rollback coronavirus restrictions this month."
Two different articles in Nola.com reveal how DHS and the city of New Orleans plan to use COVID-19 contact tracing as an excuse to record customers personal information.
An article titled, "Customer logs will be kept under 'new normal' amid coronavirus in New Orleans" explains DHS's plans.
"Contact tracing just doesn't involve government alone," Cantrell said in the Tuesday conference call. Businesses will proactively track the names and the contact information of patrons "as part of the new normal," Cantrell said.
Another Nola.com article titled, "Proposed customer logs raise privacy, logistical concerns" warns that forcing businesses to collect customers private information violates the constitution.
"They're asking of restaurants, and they're asking right now and developing guidelines, that are completely impossible to follow and violate constitutional privacy," Stephen Perry the head of New Orleans tourism and hospitality sector said.
In Travis County, Texas restaurants will do much more than track customers personal information. According to an article in The Austin Eater, restaurants will track customers personal information and note exactly when they ate, where they ate, and which employees served them.
"All restaurants allowing dine-in service and all reopened services with allowed occupancy or capacity of 75 or less are encouraged to maintain an activity log of, as reasonably possible, the contact information for all inside or sit-down customers and employees including the dates and times they were present in the business and the location where they sat or were served if a restaurant or reopened service with seating. In the absence of a such a log, "
How does our government justify forcing businesses to keep detailed logs of who their customers are, what time they ate and what they ate?
Kansas City forces churches and businesses to snitch on churchgoers and customers
A recent article in The New American revealed how the city of Kansas City, Missouri is forcing places of worship and businesses to track people's personal information.
"As part of its partial reopening of nonessential institutions, Kansas City, Missouri, is now requiring businesses and churches to maintain lists of people who enter their doors."
Mayor Quinton Lucas's 10/10/10 rule states "that businesses must maintain a record of time of service for customers on the premises in a seated capacity for more than ten (10) minutes." It further states that businesses like Salons can satisfy customer registrations by providing authorities with customers names and appointment times.
Kansas City's 10/10/10 rule also said that religious gatherings like, weddings, funerals, memorial services, and wakes with ten or more people should have their names and personal information collected.
A city FAQ page indicates that businesses must record the names, contact information, and approximate entry/exit time of these customers. It also said the information must be turned over to the department of public health upon request.
A Kansas City news release titled, "Re-Opening Guidelines for KCMO Restaurants, Non-Essential Businesses" revealed that restaurants and businesses have become defacto government spies, keeping personal information of customers for thirty days.
"Restaurants are strongly encouraged to maintain a log of all customers who spend more than 10 minutes seated at the establishment. Logs are to be kept for 30 days at the establishment before discarding/deleting. Log records will be kept confidential and will only be used to aid efforts to notify customers and staff about potential COVID-19 exposure."
Fortunately, tracking customers personal information is not the norm yet. As USA Today noted, most states are not tracking customer's personal information as long as businesses take the necessary health precautions. It should be noted that at least one more state, Oregon, is considering forcing restaurants to record customers' personal information.
Forcing businesses to record the names and personal information of everyone under the guise of COVID-19 is too high a price to pay for going out to your favorite bar or restaurant.
We cannot allow DHS and local authorities to use COVID-19 as an excuse to create a "new normal" of private business snitching.