The imagineers at Disney have figured out how to keep their happy universe as small as possible: by using cool RFID wristbands to track the identities, movements, and financial status of wearers. For entertainment!
The MyMagic+ "vacation management system" can track guests as they move throughout Walt Disney World and analyze their buying habits. If parents allow certain settings on the Magic Bands, employees playing characters will be able to see data with the use of hidden sensors —- so a child might walk up to Mickey Mouse, who says, "Hi, Bobby! Happy birthday!" Some rides will be designed so that there's interaction between the machines and people with Magic Bands in waiting areas, thus keeping guests entertained as they wait in line.
The as-yet optional program was announced a year ago, and already occasioned some personal privacy sniping between then-Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Disney's CEO. But as the Broward-Palm Beach New Times reports, most of the dedicated "pre-selected" Disney fans who've tried the Magic Bands out so far like their convenience, agreeing with the corporation's promise that the system offers "an even more immersive, personalized and seamless Walt Disney World Resort experience than ever before."
Not everyone's satisfied with that analysis:
Techy types, however, debated more substantial fears: could the data on the wristbands be read by smartphones? What if someone copied and pasted your data and cloned your band — and could use your credit card and get into your hotel room?
Disney concedes that they "collect certain information from you while you are at select locations throughout the Resort," but the company swears that data thefts won't happen, and also they'll only use the bands' info to market to people over the age of 13.
But who cares? They'll come in so many child-pleasing colors and varieties!
True to its incredible moneymaking form, Disney has also announced plans to change the bands from time to time, creating a market for "collectible" ones. The company also conceived of "Magic Band accessories" called Cover Bands and "Magic Bandits" — little plastic characters that can be attached to the Magic Bands for personalization...
Brilliant! What Disney mastermind came up with this scheme?...