Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger sent a letter to Democrat Rep. Ed Markey Tuesday, blistering him for questioning the company’s plans to utilize MagicBand bracelets to track guests at its theme parks.
“We are offended by the ludicrous and utterly ill-informed assertion in your letter,” Iger wrote, claiming that the Mouse House would never “in any way haphazardly or recklessly introduce a program that manipulates children, or wantonly puts their safety at risk.”
The Massachusetts congressman wrote Iger earlier this month to express his concern that the MagicBands could “have a harmful impact on our children,” The Hill reports
. Markey is co-chairman of the congressional privacy caucus and the favorite to succeed John Kerry in the Senate
The MagicBands allow Disney to follow a customer's location, which parts of a park they visit, what food they purchase, and other information.
In the letter to Markey, Iger says use of the “MagicBands” technology is strictly optional and set up with privacy in mind. Disney customers control what information they share with the company and how it’s used, he said. MagicBands may prove valuable to his company, experts say.
“If Disney can drive more value from existing infrastructure by layering on technology, that is extremely powerful,” Steve Brown, chief operating officer for Lo-Q, a British company that provides line management and ticketing systems for theme parks and zoos, tells The New York Times. “They can’t just compete by building new rides; it’s already a theme-park arms race out there.”
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