The fact is that Disney is already tracking people via credit cards, cameras and who knows what else before we even bring up the MM+ situation. Sure it's probably not enough to make people not go to WDW based on privacy concerns alone, but if added to the list of other negatives -- specifically the FP+ system -- then it could be enough to at least make you think twice.
Having used the MM+ bands and knowing that they ultimately plan on going with a FP+ only system, I would certainly reconsider going to WDW in the future based on just that alone. The privacy concerns would only be a cherry on top of the issues I have with MM+.
The 'beta' phase need not mean 'secretive' phase. Yet guests are pretty much in the dark as to where Disney are headed with the technology.Perhaps if Disney were a little more open, guests may have a little more confidence in the system.
At the moment a bank card needs a PIN. Most of us are very very certain that our PIN details are extremely safe thanks to trusted bank systems.Disney have yet to prove themselves as keepers of critical data.To my knowledge, this is relatively new territory for them and us as park guests.
So, to answer your question, no, I am not yet convinced about the security of MyMagic+ based upon the simple concern that the system is under development and that means that there's a higher risk than normal of data going missing or being copied by contractors. That of course can include PIN data.
I agree with comments that this money could have been spent elsewhere...adding another gate to spread out the guests.
But my gut feeling is the reason Disney is sinking so much money into MB is to also market it as a product. They're already selling accessories for it and t-shirts celebrating it as if it were a new gaming system.
And to the guy that said "trusted bank systems", that was a joke right?
The Bands themselves were great to use, but arent a huge upgrade over the KTTW cards. A nice to have though. The hysteria over these things is getting to be laughable. However The reasons for it and the cost are staggering and a bit offensive. When company execs come out and say they are wilfully trying to get every penny out of you it's a bit of a kick in the pants to put it nicely. But how many of us were ever in doubt about this? Why else do they charge $5 for a ten cent pen? And why do we buy them? Because we love the characters and the Parks and the memories that are created.
I recently returned from a trip and loved it. Even my wife noticed things working that weren't previously. I have no complaints about the value for money because there has never been such a thing at WDW. If you want value for money go for a week all inclusive in Cuba where a family of 4 can stay and play and eat for $2500. IF you want what Disney sells, it's going to cost you. Just like the $179.99 I paid for a piece of luggage in the gift shop which I could have gotten at Walmart for $79.99. But hey it has a mouse and WDW written on it.
Since they put everything on Facebook and Twitter every time the Fart… Eat, Drink, nap, watch a movie, Post pictures of their breakfast, What kind of Sandals they are wearing…. I can go on…..
Disney has been allowing guests to charge to their room key (Keys to the World), which directly charges guest credit cards, for years now, so I think they have a little bit of experience keeping private data secure. That doesn't mean that they can't be hacked, but it's probably as secure as any online retailer or hotel chain that maintains credit card information for deposits/accounts. I think it might be a good idea for them to protect guests through the use of a PIN (similar to credit cards in Europe) so that potential criminals could not walk through the parks skimming and mimicing guests' MyMagic+ RFID chips and running up park charges. However, once you get off-site those RFID data are useless.
The idea is that with the MagicBands, guests are likely to spend more because of more personallized experiences. Imagine how much more a kid will beg for a photo or video of a character meet and greet if that character says their name or knows they were just on a ride and asks what they thought of it. It is also theorized that because of the bands, guests will spend more becuase it will be far easier to pay for things (you won't even need to take your wallet out of your pocket or purse).
For those that are fearful of the tracking technology, you should just go off the grid and live in a cabin in northern Saskatchawan, because if you have a cell phone, internet access, e-mail, facebook, credit card, anything, you are being tracked. In fact, it was just reported the other day that the NSA collects over 5 BILLION pieces of data from cell phones every single day. Anyone with a smartphone that downloads apps, you're typically giving the creator of that app the authority to track your location and/or use. You're essentially giving Disney the same authority through the MyMagic+ system. Personally, I think anything that they want to do that can potentially make my experience better, easier, and more personalized, I'm all for that.
Safety concerns at the parks far outweigh privacy issues, as far as I'm concerned. Finding a lost kid by checking their magic Band location would be priceless. Restaurants automatically knowing my girlfriend has a shellfish allergy would be awesome.
This is very, very different from companies or the government snooping and sharing your web browsing activity.
The concern is whether they can protect my information. Many businesses have proven they can't. I have heard unverified stories from cast members of some huge mistakes. Don't know if real, but if they are, just proves they are no different than other businesses. What is different is the extreme amount of detail the DSA :-) is collecting. Yes, it probably is pretty innocent now but what will they do with it in a few years. If the NSA, with all of their motivation and resources can't protect their data, can the DSA?
In the end, it is my job to control my data. I choose to share it with Disney now. If they keep being greedy, I have other options and also ways to limit what they collect without bunkering up.
The advantage of going to the magic bands is that now Disney can expect people to make plans and reservations. While this might be an issue unto itself, at least it allows Disney to plan accordingly for the rush.
Privacy as we knew it has been gone for a long time and there is virtually no way to live "off the grid" now and seriously, 99% of the people out there have nothing to worry about and the other 1% are using an alias and not going to the Magic Kingdom...