"Free the Grapes" Externalizes Risk
Or so “Shipcompliant” would have us believe, with a blog post entitled “Free the Grapes! Updates Wine Industry Code for Direct Shipping Practices.”
The new addition to the Code is step 4, which specifies that wineries should verify the age of the purchaser of the wine at the time of transaction for all off-site transactions (Internet, phone, mail, fax, etc.). This can be done either by obtaining a photocopy of the purchaser’s drivers license or by using an approved online age verification vendor such as ChoicePoint or IDology.
So to protect themselves from liability, wine merchants who sign up for this code will be putting their customers at risk. Of course, the code already says:
Free the Grapes! encourages licensees to contract only with shippers who check the identification of recipients at the time of delivery to ensure that the recipient is 21 years of age or older.
So there’s no reason to add this step. The very next step ensures that wine won’t get into the hands of our corruptable youth.
This is two steps backwards: We’re creating more work for the wineries and wine sellers, exposing their customers to increased risk of privacy violations, and all to cover a risk that’s already covered.
Free the grapes? How about free the people from this nonsense?
Photo: “A sculpture commemorating the wine press and its importance to California history in Golden Gate Park near the De Young Museum of Fine Arts (6)” by mharrsch.