Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Fingerprinting At Disney: The Police-Entertainment Complex

fingerprint.jpgIn “Walt Disney World: The Government’s Tomorrowland?” Karen Harmel and Laura Spadanuta discuss how Disney has moved from finger geometry (to constrain ticket re-sale) to fingerprinting their customers.

I think the most important bit about this is about the links between Disney and the government:

Former Disney employees have filled some of the most sensitive positions in the U.S. intelligence and security communities. Eric Haseltine left his post as executive vice president of research and development at Walt Disney Imagineering in 2002 to become associate director for research at the NSA, and he is now National Intelligence Director John Negroponte’s assistant director for science and technology.

In a comment to my previous article on the subject, (“Fingerprints at Disney: The Desensitization Imperative,”) Smurzin wrote:

I drove with the family from Connecticut only to find that they were taking fingerprints. I was reluctant to do so, until I remembered that I had the kids with me. If you live 1000 miles away and drive to disney, you are kind of forced to enter the park and in turn give up your prints.

Tying these together, along with the scanning of ID at clubs, I’d like to ask: Is there a plan to use entertainment venues as beta sites for the invasion of our privacy? Is fun to be subordinated to permission? I hope not.

Photo credit: “Bug Juice” by Dulcelife.

6 comments on "Fingerprinting At Disney: The Police-Entertainment Complex"

  • Chris says:

    Awesome story, isn’t it?
    From the same folks who brought us Data Dilemma

  • Not just any entertainment site but specifically any place that children want or need to go…the plan seems to be to get their prints before they know better.
    Check out the lunch-line strategy in Georgia:

  • beri says:

    I’m glad I took my children to Disney World before they instituted this system.
    Shouldn’t they be required to inform everyone by use of their advertising taht they will fingerprint you if you want to go to Disney World? I can understand the parent who didn’t want to disappoint the children when they had just driven all that distance but I’m not sure I would have said, “Oh, what the hell.” Maybe that’s what Disney is counting on.

  • says:

    Davi–I think the FBI searches for fingerprints by biometric points and when it finds points which match, it then looks at the actual prints. So this is not really a lower level technology, as it is being described. How could the FBI search all the millions of fingerprints without a “point” system?

  • Chris says:

    As has been said here at EC before, even where minutiae (sp?) are stored, fingerprint image reconstitution may be feasible:

  • Elphaba says:

    strange… Disneyland has no such fingerprint (or even finger geometry) measures in place. I guess the Happiest Place on Earth for the Privacy Conscious is in Anaheim, not Orlando.
    Indulge your kids all you want on Disney merchandise, just don’t get their cell phone service.

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