Disney Pushes Back On NFC Privacy Concerns

Disney has wasted little time responding to Congressional criticisms of the privacy of its NFC-based MyMagic+ system, releasing a scathing letter citing assertions made against Disney as “ludicrous and utterly ill-informed.”

The Disney response comes just five days after Rep. Ed Markey (D – Mass) published a letter addressed to Disney CEO Bob Iger questioning privacy issues surrounding Disney’s proposed MyMagic+ system: an NFC-based loyalty, payment and admission platform that Walt Disney World is planning to implement in its Florida-based theme park.

In Markey’s letter, he cites possible “surreptitious use” of children’s location data, asks if the MyMagic+ system is optional, asks if Disney plans to sell the data they’ll collect and asks how long such data is stored for, among other questions.

“As a Co-Chairman of the Congressional Bi-partisan Privacy Caucus, I am deeply concerned that Disney’s proposal could potentially have a harmful impact on our children,” Markey cautioned.

The letter Iger shot back to the Congressman was frank in its dismissal of such notions.

“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,” Iger wrote.

Iger also stated that Disney does not use personal info to market to children under the age of 13, doesn’t share any information wit third parties for marketing purposes and notes that the MyMagic+ platform is both voluntary and comes with parental controls.

Disney has not yet given a specific date for when the MyMagic+ system, which is estimated to cost around $1 billion to implement, will go live at any of its theme parks.

What do you think? Does Markey have legitimate cause for concern with the MyMagic+ program? Did Iger’s response satisfy any concerns you have? Let us know in the comments below.

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