- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Disney said its new tracking technology for park visitors is not a privacy infringement, as Rep. Ed Markey alleged. But rather, the misguided congressman is making “ludicrous” remarks based on a failure to properly research the MyMagic+ program, corporate officials said, in a scathing letter issued Monday.

The MyMagic+ program allows visitors the option of wearing a bracelet that tracks their movements and locations, and also serves as a credit card and room key.

Mr. Markey, a top privacy rights’ advocate, criticized the new Disney program in a Jan. 24 letter, characterizing it as a potentially harmful program for children, Politico reported. Disney hit back with a letter of its own.

“We are offended by the ludicrous and utterly ill-informed assertion in your letter … that we would in any way haphazardly or recklessly introduce a program that manipulates children, or wantonly puts their safety at risk,” CEO Bob Iger wrote. “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.”

Mr. Iger said visitors’ personal information is not stored and the tracking technology is not GPS-based.

“The long-range readers which detect the MagicBands will be in specific locations for the purpose of providing better service to our guests,” he wrote.