Tag Archives: Privacy Rights

RFIDs and MyMagic+ and Privacy, Oh My!

11 Jan

Over at StudiosCentral, my recent Jentasmic! columns have focused on the NextGen, newly-announced MyMagic+ initiative at Walt Disney World.

It’s interesting to watch the response to MyMagic+, both from the Disney fandom and from the press. Business writers generally zoom right into the moneymaker: Disney building an unprecedented database of Guest information, with implications for both privacy concerns and outstanding marketing opportunities. The fandom is mostly giddy for the new technologies, the new customization of Guest experience, and the convenience of wearing a MagicBand instead of carrying a card or two.

As a dues-paying member of the ACLU, which chimed in on tracking people with RFIDs years ago, I’m concerned about the privacy implications, primarily related to the inferences which can be drawn through data-mining (remember when a couple MIT students figured out how to mine Facebook data to determine whether a man was gay?).

And at the same time, I’m deep enough into Disney fanaticism that I’m likely to give the system a spin next time I travel to Walt Disney World. I’ll be interested to see how things go as MyMagic+ is gradually rolled out, and how much it changes from this point in response to Guest feedback and operational experience.

Disney Acquires Togetherville: Smart, and Maybe Creepy

25 Feb

Togetherville main pageDisney acquired the Togetherville social networking site this week, which is probably a great move for profits, and convenient for parents of young kids. But it also raises all sorts of red flags about potential data-mining privacy violations. From my StudiosCentral Jentasmic! column this morning:

Remember that rumor some time back that characters in the park might someday remember your name and your number of previous visits, based on data stored in a specialized wrist band? Well, if this were integrated with Togetherville and Facebook, Mickey might also happen to know that you hit a new high score yesterday on Pixel Purge, and that your Dad’s sciatica has been acting up.

And of course, let’s not forget that anything ABC or ESPN knows, Disney knows. So, Mickey might want to know what you thought about the last episode of Grey’s Anatomy that you watched last night on your web browser, or the Celtics game.

I remember in the early dot com wave, you could tell who the most powerful person in the room was, because usually he (yes, usually he) would be wearing board shorts and flip flops to the executive committee meeting. Today, I’ll bet you can tell who the most powerful person in the room is by figuring out who has the least (true, personal) information available about them online.

Biometrics Now for HK Disneyland AP Holders

24 Nov

ZDNet Asia has a piece today about Hong Kong Disneyland implementing biometrics for Annual Passholders:

First deployed at Disneyland World in Florida, U.S., Ticket Tag is currently available to Hong Kong Disneyland’s Annual Pass holders at two ticketing turnstiles at the park’s entrance, Shek said. But, he added, the technology will eventually be implemented in every turnstile.

With Ticket Tag, Annual Pass holders no longer need to produce a photo ID card to authenticate their identity, he said, adding that this enhances the experience of the park’s visitors. He noted that customers, who still have concerns about using their fingerprints, can choose to continue using a photo ID card as a form of identification.

I cringe every time I put my fingers into the scanners. But I just keep doing it, don’t I? My, this pond is nice and warm and bubbly.

It’s a Great Big Brotherly Tomorrow

1 Sep

Interesting article from newsinitiative.org on Walt Disney World: The Government’s Tomorrowland?

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