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  1. #1

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    My Magic + is looking like Big Brother

    Here`s the link for todays MiceAge article. Privacy at WDW Waning? RFID and Tracking UpdateMiceChat .

    Apparently the wristbands are not as passive as advertised. Batteries were found in them , and similar devices have a range of 30 feet. Park visiters were offered ride photos in emails on rides that they didn`t use the wristband for FP+. There is speculation that you can be tracked throughout your visit. I like the line about tracking the time between you buying a burritto and using the bathroom , and how long you were in there.

  2. #2

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    Re: My Magic + is looking like Big Brother

    Creepy and sad at the same time. Disney was once famous as the leader of theme park technology in the service of showmanship, with the goal of creating more immersive entertainment for its customers. They're about to become infamous as the leaders of theme park technology in the service of tracking their customers like research rats in a maze, with the goal of more efficient marketing and bigger profits for themselves.

    Big Brother, for sure. Big Creep is more like it.

    It won't take much of a push for the public to start seeing Disney's Magic Bracelets as Unhappy Handcuffs -- just a few investigative news reports about invasion of privacy, a few photos on CNN of MickeyCuffs being placed on the wrists of children, a few more letters to Iger from Congress, a few more of Iger's arrogant "STFU We're Disney" responses... and before the Bob, Tom, Jay & Meg Show know it, their latest and most ludicrous Humpty Dumpty will come tumbling off the wall.
    "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
    Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
    imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

    - Neil Gabler


  3. #3

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    Re: My Magic + is looking like Big Brother

    Long Distance tracking doesnít bother me as much as potential for fraud. There is no reason to doubt that long distance tracking will make it easily for a hacker to identify a user, duplicate the RFID, and utilize the benefits without knowledge of the user. If Disney is able to buy the equipment, a hacker will be able to do the same with off-the-shelf devices.

    I do find it interesting that the tracking of ride photos is viewed as a negative in some cases. I think it is a plus, a clear advantage, but somehow Disney has made it seem like a negative with their strange privacy policy. Why write it like that? It is a strange way to advertise a benefit. It is also strange that the user canít opt out.

    This does vindicate Congressman Rep. Markey, D-Mass. Igerís response was very rude.

  4. #4

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    Re: My Magic + is looking like Big Brother

    I'm not a conspiracy theorist or anything, but I haven't liked the idea of the MagicBands since the first time I heard about them. I thought they sounded like a potential privacy risk and after reading this article, I think they are even more unnecessary and creepy. The fact that you will find pictures of you even if you didn't scan your wristband is not acceptable, imo. It sounds like the scanning is a trick in itself because they are able to be scanned from a distance. People's bands are probably scanning regardless of you holding your wrist up to the scanner or not. Guests should have the ability to opt out of anything regarding their personal vacation. Period.

    I hope these are never implemented at Disneyland. I can understand the testing at WDW because there are more parks, more attractions, more hotels, etc., but I don't think Disneyland has the need for them. And people thought having to get their pictures taken at the gates was bad enough.

  5. #5

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    Re: My Magic + is looking like Big Brother

    I thank Kevin Yee for writing an overall fair column and not resorting to the hyperbole of some other online forums where they claim that MyMagic will somehow be hacked by geniuses from MIT to target your family.

    I go to Disneyland with a family member who was abducted, don't really care to relate the details/horrors of that on a message board, but yes, I do think about abduction in the park and what I'd do and I keep a constant eye on said person in the park. Unlike 99% of park guests, it is an issue every time we go to the park, (until said person gets older/bigger). My relatives spent months, and $$$, dealing with private investigators and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and begging for help. Kids are abducted more frequently than you'd ever imagine. Enough said.

    As I see it, Disney plans on using the Magic bands to perhaps help locate lost kids in the park, fantastic. I think that a lot of would-be child abductors wouldn't know about the Magic Bands technology, they'd draw attention to themselves if they removed said band from a child, and so for me it is an extra layer of safety. Even if said perp removed the MagicBand and took the kid, they know where it happened and would probably make getting video of said incident that much, much easier, time matters in these matters. To get an Amber Alert you have to have evidence that the child was abducted, and realistically you need to know what the perp looked like.

    There's this poster on another site, WDWMagic, WDW1974, who has some very . . . emotional/hateful things to say about Disney, and respected bloggers like Jim Hill don't want anything to do with said message board WDW1974 posts on due to how he attacks posters and Disney with extreme vitriol. He also claimed that MagicBands would enable pedophiles, well, if you've lived in my shoes, you realize that 99.9999% of the whackos out there don't have the skills to hack into Disney's system.

    I think that WDW1974 is emotionally manipulating people as he'd love to have people revoke their annual passes in droves and that this would help Disney "see the errors of their ways" in his mind. Though a self-professed erstwhile insider, a lot of his rumors are false and he obviously has an agenda. He also claimed WDW's DHS would get all of these amazing rides/attractions and it would be announced at D23, and then probably sat back in glee when it didn't happen, perhaps hoping to crash fans hopes on the rocks of despair so they . . . write letters asking for more rides? WDW1974 also bragged that due to his insider knowledge he knew where John Lasseter was on a given day because he's important and connected . . . I thought he was against stalkers?

    I think Disney uses RFID to keep tabs of people on their cruise ships, seems like the same concept here. If Disney has your photo they could find you in the parks with surveillance cameras/face recognition like the casinos, I would imagine, and they could always page you.

    Obviously Disney will encrypt the system, I would guess, and it will be closely monitored. From somebody who has lived the nightmare/frustration of child abduction, I'm kinda not so worried about the genius pedophile hackers from Russia trying to abduct relatives in the parks by hacking Disney's system, the real perps are morons.

    If somebody knows you, wants to take your child, they'd probably take the easy route and try to abduct them elsewhere, like in your home, or at the kid's school. If there are people who are going to follow you to Disneyland, stalk you in the park, try to hack your MagicBand, you've got bigger problems than Disney's system, IMHO, assuming that the criminals even know how to do that.
    Last edited by chesirecat; 12-03-2013 at 09:03 AM.

  6. #6

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    Re: My Magic + is looking like Big Brother

    Quote Originally Posted by DrFink View Post
    It sounds like the scanning is a trick in itself because they are able to be scanned from a distance. People's bands are probably scanning regardless of you holding your wrist up to the scanner or not.
    There are two technologies, passive and active RFID, the passive requires close proximity otherwise you walk past a Fast Pass entrance and you wasted a FP without knowing it, and for paying with a credit card you have to be up close *and* enter a PIN.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrFink View Post
    Guests should have the ability to opt out of anything regarding their personal vacation. Period.
    Should and can are two different things. You can't opt out of paying for tickets, having your credit card info transmitted if you use a credit, have security cameras watch you. If Disney wanted (and they probably do) they could do like casinos and use face recognition to track folks who shouldn't be in the parks (banned) or who are causing a disturbance.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrFink View Post
    I hope these are never implemented at Disneyland. I can understand the testing at WDW because there are more parks, more attractions, more hotels, etc., but I don't think Disneyland has the need for them. And people thought having to get their pictures taken at the gates was bad enough.
    Disney could easily use facial recognition to track people in Disneyland right now, but why? Sure, if you're a troublemaker then they have to find you and eject you from the park. By having faces with passes, Disneyland prevents fraud, more profits, more money for improvements and upkeep.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrFink View Post
    I hope these are never implemented at Disneyland.
    So, DLR keeps its old IT system, and *less* safe card door locks on the resorts and more costly to maintain Fast Pass machines? The more Disney rolls out MyMagic for infrastructure purposes, the more they'll save money, IMHO, one system for all parks/resorts worldwide. It'll probably come to the Hawaiian resort as well, and that's not taking into account the increased spending and we know how Disney loves it when guests spend more . . .
    Last edited by chesirecat; 12-03-2013 at 09:11 AM.

  7. #7

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    Re: My Magic + is looking like Big Brother

    Quote Originally Posted by chesirecat View Post
    ...By having faces with passes, Disneyland prevents fraud, more profits, more money for improvements and upkeep.
    ...And offers more to attract hackers to their system. Disney's proven inability to run their own website without screwups, combined with their "we're Disney" arrogance, makes a Disney database filled with the vitae of millions of Disney Parks customers an even more attractive target.

    "Can't happen?" Tell that to Adobe, Citibank, the U.S. Government, and numerous other corporations and institutions whose customers' identities and credit information have been placed at risk.
    "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
    Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
    imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

    - Neil Gabler


  8. #8

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    Re: My Magic + is looking like Big Brother

    Give me the option to sit this out, and I won't care nearly as much. I don't stay in Disney hotels, so that's helpful, and i don't know the best way to purchase tickets to keep away from the wristbands. Buy them one day at a time?

    I hope they don't bring this to DLR. Then again, I'll only be a day guest and probably won't qualify for it, which is still ok.

    Sure, they can use facial recognition to track us, but it's a difference of *how* easy it is. Facial recognition or just looking at the crowds... that takes more effort and they're not likely to do it for the average guest. With the bands, they are tracking everybody, I'm sure. You may be aggregated into a group, but still.

    Tracked.

    Not ok.
    I pledge allegiance to the Earth, one planet, many gods, and to the universe in which she spins.

  9. #9

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    Re: My Magic + is looking like Big Brother

    Ok- read the article. You can get a card that can't be read at a distance. Ok, that's an improvement.

    I still don't want to plan out my vacation ahead of time, arranging rides and restaurant reservations and whatnot, but at least there's a non-distance-reading option so I could get into the park.
    I pledge allegiance to the Earth, one planet, many gods, and to the universe in which she spins.

  10. #10

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    Re: My Magic + is looking like Big Brother

    I'm as big of a privacy advocate as anyone but I don't really see the big deal here. If you're worried about Disney being hacked then surely you've expressed those concerns before if you've ever owned an AP: they have your name, address, CC number, picture, and information about your visits to the park and probably spending habits in a database somewhere.

    Also regarding concerns of being tracked in the parks, I kind of wonder what possible bad scenarios could happen here. For one, the allusion to Big Brother is quite frankly absurd. Big Brother represented governmental control over every aspect of life, including language, politics, and social affairs. It was meant as a warning against authoritarian and fascist governments who would use their power to subjugate their citizens in every way. Disney is not Big Brother and, as always, this is a theme park... you can always choose not to go and your privacy (at least as far as Disney is concerned) will be fully protected.

    Beyond that, what privacy is there in a theme park? You're surrounded by tens of thousands of people, everything you do is in public, and I genuinely can't imagine any scenarios where someone's privacy would be adversely affected by their magicband knowing that they went on certain rides.

  11. #11

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    Re: My Magic + is looking like Big Brother

    No interest in this. The private scanners exist that could easily pull the info off the bands. Sure, it's a code that Disney links to your account that only Disney has the encryption for - but if you're able to copy that code you've copied that MagicBand.

    Plus I'll second the serious concerns from this and other threads about a turnstyle-free entrance area JUST off Harbor Blvd.

    Security's going to have SO MUCH FUN dealing with area homeless.
    There's nothing like being in heavy rehearsal for a new season to remind you that this isn't just a hobby.

  12. #12

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    Re: My Magic + is looking like Big Brother

    And this is all a surprise how?? Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon have been doing this on a massive scale since at least 2008 and Google Glass will data track almost exactly how My Magic is doing it today. So what's the problem? That a corporation can track your movements and save it to a data array? Or is it the possibility that if they can follow you into the bathroom (virtually) that perhaps they can also tracke whether you flushed, washed your hands, and threw your paper towels away in the appropriate receptacle?
    Many Bothans died to bring you these fastpasses.

  13. #13

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    Re: My Magic + is looking like Big Brother

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
    ...And offers more to attract hackers to their system. Disney's proven inability to run their own website without screwups, combined with their "we're Disney" arrogance, makes a Disney database filled with the vitae of millions of Disney Parks customers an even more attractive target.

    "Can't happen?" Tell that to Adobe, Citibank, the U.S. Government, and numerous other corporations and institutions whose customers' identities and credit information have been placed at risk.
    You could also bemoan the "arrogance" of Amazon for having credit card info and, yikes!, user preferences and other info, like product reviews, stored online for the world to see. And you could bemoan social networking sites like Facebook, or even the fact that Disney has taken down credit card info and guest names for hotel reservations for decades.

    I think that "Cyber Monday" just passed Black Thursday in sales, as a society we're moving online more and more. Disney isn't doing anything inherently "evil", IMHO, the number of sites that let users create profiles, etc. is growing exponentially.

    Some people might say, "I won't use Amazon because they'll steal my identity." Fine. Disney will probably always have paper tickets as the parks get foreign guests who can't navigate the site.

  14. #14

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    Re: My Magic + is looking like Big Brother

    Quote Originally Posted by chesirecat View Post
    You could also bemoan the "arrogance" of Amazon for having credit card info and, yikes!, user preferences and other info, like product reviews, stored online for the world to see.
    No, because there is no comparison between Amazon's data collection system and Disney's NextGen. Just as there is no comparison between Amazon's management structure and internal political toxicity and that of Disney.
    "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
    Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
    imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

    - Neil Gabler


  15. #15

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    Re: My Magic + is looking like Big Brother

    Quote Originally Posted by alphabassetgrrl View Post
    i don't know the best way to purchase tickets to keep away from the wristbands. Buy them one day at a time?
    Disneyland gets guests from other countries, many don't even speak English and don't have familiarity with western IT systems, they'll be selling park hoppers and multi-day passes as paper tickets for a while.

    Quote Originally Posted by alphabassetgrrl View Post

    Sure, they can use facial recognition to track us, but it's a difference of *how* easy it is. Facial recognition or just looking at the crowds... that takes more effort and they're not likely to do it for the average guest. With the bands, they are tracking everybody, I'm sure. You may be aggregated into a group, but still.

    Tracked.

    Not ok.
    Uh, IT technology is exponential, I've talked to folks who believe that facial/biometric recognition tech will become so prevalent that you won't need a wallet . . . or even an RFID wallet in 20 years. The computer knows who you are upon entering a pay zone and you buy the product simply by saying "I'm buying this", or pressing a confirmation button. Heck, they'll probably have high resolution/magnification retinal scanners that you don't even need to look into but which scan your retinas nonetheless by tracking your eyes. So, yeah, in 20 years you'll just walk through a gate at Disneyland, no ticket, no nothing, and press a screen to arrange Fast Passes as the computer recognizes you. And this will probably be everywhere, the hospital, supermarket, mall, work . . . and, yes, it will be easy for a computer to keep track of everybody in Disneyland by visual tagging biometrics and assigning profiles.

    I guess we could "protest" this, but its kinda an issue larger than a Disneyland discussion board and perhaps a political issue as well.
    Last edited by chesirecat; 12-03-2013 at 10:09 AM.

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