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Disney Wants To Track You With RFID 278

Antipater writes "Disney parks and resorts have long had a system that combined your room key, credit card, and park ticket into a single card. Now, they're taking it a step further by turning the card into an RFID wristband (called a 'MagicBand'), tracking you, and personalizing your park experience, targeted-ad style. 'Imagine booking guaranteed ride times for your favorite shows and attractions even before setting foot in the park,' wrote Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, in a blog posting on Monday. 'With MyMagic+, guests will be able to do that and more, enabling them to spend more time together and creating an experience that's better for everyone.' Disney does go on to talk about all the things you can opt out of if you have privacy concerns, and the whole system seems to be voluntary or even premium." With a theme park, at least, you can also choose to avoid the place entirely; that makes it, however creepy, a bit different from compulsory education settings, or mandatory car tracking.
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Disney Wants To Track You With RFID

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @01:51PM (#42521035)

    I admit I don't get the reflexive "defend my privacy" stance on slashdot. Why is this "creepy"? You can opt out if you choose, but you can use the system to enhance your experience at the park if you choose. Plus, it gives Disney data to understand patterns and behaviors of people who enjoy the park, and thus allowing them to enhance and modify the park to meet their customer's desires, which makes their experience more enjoyable and increases the value of the park which ultimately makes it more profitable; that sounds like a win-win.

    Can someone please explain a scenario, especially when this is voluntarily opt out, where this is a bad thing for people? Note it's also based on your room card/ticket to the park, so it's not like they can track you outside of the park, only when you're on their facility.

  • Calm Down (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @02:01PM (#42521201)

    It's a wristband. You take it off when you leave the park.

    I took my family on a Disney cruise and you booked all sorts of things before leaving port. It was nice and the combo room key/charge card/etc was super convenient.

    I don't think Disney is hiding the fact that they want to squeeze you for every penny you are willing to give them. Any adult with half a brain can figure that out within a few hours of visiting a park/boarding a ship. They manage to make sure that no matter your budget you can have fun with them and that is no small feat.

    Be realistic about your budget and stick to it. I for one really liked going up on deck to a pool that wasn't crowded and having someone bring me a bucket of beers that I had already picked out and paid for - without asking or waiting. If that isn't your style, you can always go with the competition and get overcrowded pools and long lines for a smaller selection of beers that really aren't any cheaper.

  • Non-issue (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gravis777 ( 123605 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @02:09PM (#42521373)

    I don't see an issue with this. You already have a room key tied to your credit card number, a pass with your name on it, and you have to book reservations at most of the eating places in Orlando. Disney already has my information for all of that stuff, and pretty much can already track me. Why not have an all-in-one system? Or is it just because its RFID wristband that everyone here is having an issue with?

  • by Altus ( 1034 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @02:10PM (#42521383) Homepage

    Thats what we call a straw man. I have read 1984 and this is not 1984, not even close.

  • by dpilot ( 134227 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @02:32PM (#42521773) Homepage Journal

    Disney already collects a ton of information about how their parks are running. It's just not noticeable during normal times. My wife loves WDW - a few years back we went the day after Labor Day and the part was practically deserted. The information collectors were much more visible without the big crowds to hide them. Twice going on the Haunted House ride we got the "wait-time measurement passes" from one of the information people. He gave it to us, and we handed it to the last attendant before the Doom Buggy started into the ride. On this occasion it basically measured our walking time and the delay in the little room.

    We also got a chance to chat with one of the information collectors while waiting for a bus. He explained how most visitors felt the day's experience was good if they'd gotten on 6-8 major rides, and they do what they can to make sure everyone has a good experience. After all, that's what gets you back and spending money again.

    Really that's their goal - to get you into the park, spending money, and feeling good about it so you'll do it again. (and again, and again, ...)

  • by darkHanzz ( 2579493 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @02:40PM (#42521903) Journal
    1984 covers an all-watching government. I responded to a comment about "reflexive 'defend my privacy' stance on slashdot". 1984 explains that stance quite well. This articale is about an all-watching disneyland. That's not the same as an all-watching government, but really guys, don't take literature literally and a 1:1 resemblance is not required to explain why people don't like the idea of being tracked.
  • by houghi ( 78078 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @02:52PM (#42522099)

    It is indeed not 1984. It is the prequel.
    I have no fear of my privacy taken away from me. I am afraid of others GIVING theirs away. Because that means that I will not have mine anymore in the end. I know that many people do not believe that untill it will be too late.

    Privacy is a bit like virginity. You can only loose it once.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @03:07PM (#42522317)

    It's more like Brave New World, where people are willing to submit to control out of comfort, convenience, and apathy. In this case, Disney gives perks if you agree to be monitored.

    Also, you can bet that those records will be available to all who ask, including the government. Kind of how the government isn't allowed to build dossiers on citizens, so when they need one, they just reach out to private industry that has been happily building dossiers in various sectors (credit, profitability, associations, purchases, employment, etc)

  • by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @03:11PM (#42522373) Homepage Journal

    In 1984 you couldn't opt out. At Disneyland, you can.

    For now. When enough people don't opt out or find it convenient and don't care about privacy concerns, I bet you anything it will become mandatory.

    Also, opt out? Why isn't it opt in?

  • Wrong location (Score:1, Insightful)

    by cyberspittle ( 519754 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @04:39PM (#42523645) Homepage
    Why are the collars on the wrist when they should be around your neck? Would be nice to have a tag on the collar with the name of the master and master's address.

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