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Congressman questions privacy of new Disney MyMagic+ program

Leah Zanolla | Posted: Jan 24, 2013 | Updated: Oct 19, 2014 - 9:25:27 AM
A United States congressman is questioning Disney CEO Bob Iger about the privacy of Disney's new MyMagic+ wristbands. The wristbands will be used as park tickets, room keys, FastPasses, itineraries and have credit card charging privileges, along with other uses. Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) has sent a letter to Iger, asking him for more information on just what Disney plans to do with the information contained on these bands. Disney's goal with the wristbands is to give the theme park guests a more interactive, seamless experience. Theoretically, guests meeting Mickey Mouse while wearing the bands will be personally greeted by the character, thanks to the personal information contained in their band.

According to Markey, who is co-chairman of the Congressional Bi-partisan Privacy Caucus, "the bracelets could potentially have a harmful impact on our children." He wants Iger to address how how guests' privacy will be secured, particularly that of children. His letter continues, "Widespread use of the MagicBand bracelets by park guests could dramatically increase the personal data Disney can collect about its guests. Although kids should have the chance to meet Mickey Mouse, this memorable meeting should not be manipulated through surreptitious use of a child's personal information."

Iger has been asked to respond to the letter by February 14, 2013, which includes several direct questions about exactly how the bands will work and what information will be stored on them. Read the full letter here.

A statement from Disney regarding the letter reads, "MyMagic+ is a completely optional program. Disney's privacy policies and practices are fully transparent and guests can choose whether or not to participate in MyMagic+. In addition, guests control whether their personal information is used for promotional purposes and no data collected is ever used to market to children. MyMagic+ is designed to make a visit to Walt Disney World more personalized, seamless and customized than ever before."

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