Disney CEO replies to Congressman about privacy concerns
Jan 29, 2013
A Massachusetts congressman named Ed Markey, co-chairman of the Congressional Bi-partisan Privacy Caucus, made headlines recently for writing Disney CEO Bob Iger asking him to answer privacy concerns about the new MyMagic+ program announced for Walt Disney World. The new billion dollar initiative involves RFID technology located inside bracelets called MagicBands. Officially, Disney says these bracelets will not be used to track visitors in their park. Opponents suggest they could be used (albeit with slight modifications) to monitor every movement. Markey expressed serious worry that children who visit the theme parks could have their privacy compromised.
Iger has now responded, calling the congressman's criticism of the new program "ludicrous." Iger's response is very direct in suggesting Congressman Markey didn't fully inform himself of the details of MyMagic+ before sending his letter. In his letter, Iger states,
"We are offended by the ludicrous and utterly ill-informed assertion in your letter dated January 24, 2013, that we would in any way haphazardly or recklessly introduce a program that manipulates children, or wantonly puts their safety at risk.
It is truly unfortunate and extremely disappointing that you chose to publicly attack us before taking the time to review our policies and/or contact us for information, which would have obviated the need for your letter. Had you or your staff made the slightest effort, you would have found most of the answers to your questions already existed and were publicly available online..."
After that rebuttal, Iger specifically address Markey's concerns about children's privacy:
"MyMagic+ is a completely optional program that was designed with privacy controls from the outset. Disney does not use personal information to market to children under age 13, does not personalize or target advertisements to an individual child, and never shares children's personal information with any third party for their marketing purposes. Additionally, parents have full control over their child's participation in MyMagic+. We have transparent privacy practices, guests can control and limit the amount of information they provide to us - and how their information is used."
Click here to read the letter in its entirety.