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Thu Jan 17, 2013, 05:06 AM

Customer Beware: You Are Being Tracked [View all]

http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/customer-beware-you-are-being-tracked



Are you planning to visit Disneyland anytime soon? If so, watch out when you are offered its latest marketing innovation, the MagicBand. When it's introduced later this year, this oh-so-cuddly wristband will be embedded with a radio frequency identification (RFID) microchip and be part of a system dubbed MyMagic+. It will enable the company to monitor, track and analyze your every activity.
A recent New York Times exposé reveals how the giant entertainment conglomerate plans to employ some of the latest spy technologies to “customize” its operations. According to the Times, “Did you buy a balloon? What attractions did you ride and when? Did you shake Goofy’s hand, but snub Snow White? If you fully use MyMagic+, databases will be watching, allowing Disney to refine its offerings and customize its marketing messages." Sound innocent?

Disney’s plan to implement customer tracking is just the latest revelation about an expanding program of personal surveillance enveloping ever-greater aspects of personal life, online and in the physical world.

Sadly, most Americans do not know the true scope of the tracking and surveillance now taking place. Four simple questions need to be addressed: 1) What is happening to all the personal data being captured? 2) How long is it being retained? 3) To what extent is it being sold to third-party commercial vendors? 4) Is your “private,” personal data being provided to government law enforcement authorities?

* * *

Next time you're walking around a department store, keep in mind that you are being monitored and analyzed in two complementary ways. First, your in-store movements are being electronically tracked, recorded and analyzed; second, your data history is being captured, updated, sold, integrated with other database information and analyzed. The two dimensions of your 21st-century public “self,” your physical behavior and your digital communications, are now subject to nearly instantaneous and ceaseless monitoring.

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xchrom Jan 2013 OP
Sherman A1 Jan 2013 #1
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