Controversial magic wristband to track Disney World visitors and their habits
It is not easy to criticize a pop coloured squidgy plastic gadget with Mickey Mouse ears, when all you want to do is squeeze it and check if it actually smells of bubblegum. But sometimes in life there are thin lines that require to be crossed, and this is one of those cases.
I am talking of course of the latest creation of the famous Disney imagineers, the MagicBands bracelets for Disney park themes which were introduced in 2013 for testing and are now available to any customer. The whole system is set to revolutionise the world of theme parks while, unfortunately, getting the population used to being 'spied' on since a very young age.
These 'magic' wristbands were designed in a bid to move away from paper tickets and institute instead a system of computer-chipped, scannable gadgets that would work as entry ticket, FastPass, hotel room key, and credit card.
The idea came to life in these waterproof rubber bracelets which can indeed be used as a credit card, room key and much more.
According to The New York Times, the MagicBands bracelets can be used to track a customer's location, which attractions they visit, what food they buy and so on. In brief, a massive dose of personal data, voluntarily revealed by customers, will be made available to the Disney's new vacation management program MyMagic+.
The aim of MyMagic+ is to track guests as they move throughout Walt Disney World, analysing buying habits but also creating more interaction between the magic wristband users and machines on specially designed rides or as they wait in line.
Furthermore, if parents of children wearing MagicBands allow for certain settings, sensible data will be transferred to employees playing characters allowing them to 'scan' each child through the use of hidden sensors and know how to interact with them calling them by name or wishing them a happy birthday and so on.
Disney of course promises that no personal data will be stored in their system and that there will be no advertising targeting children younger then 13.However, the new device, based on RFID technology, and in fact the whole new MyMagic+ scheme has already attracted criticisms from experts in the delicate field of privacy, especially after Edward Snowden's case and revelation on the NSA project.