According to a recent report, Mickey Mouse may be spying on people.
The report, which surfaced back in August but is only now creeping its way across the World Wide Web, was written by Naomi Wolf of Britain’s The Guardian. Wolf’s focus was on the emergence of facial recognition technology, particularly as it pertains to the emergence of facial recognition security cameras near camps established by Occupy organizers.
Upon digging a little deeper into the topic, Wolf also found evidence that Disney may have been tracking visitors to its theme parks. Wolf’s report related the story of an unnamed software engineer who during a recent visit to Disneyland was offered a photograph of himself and his girlfriend.
Here’s the creepy part: the anonymous man found that his credit card information had already been uploaded to Disney’s database, even though he hadn’t provided this critical piece of personal data while visiting the theme park.
The software engineer, who apparently had some familiarity with facial recognition technology — also known as biometrics — surmised that Disney’s system must have linked his photograph to sensitive personal information available through government databases.
Wolf dug even deeper. Turns out that Walt Disney World “is responsible for the nation’s largest single commercial application of biometrics,” and even provided the United States government advice on how to implement biometrics systems in the period following September 11, 2001.
In fact, several important Disney employees have gone on to work in the U.S. government: Gordon Levin is now employed by the Federal Aviation Administration; Eric Haseltine went on to work for the National Security Agency; and Bran Ferren later worked as a consultant for the NSA and Department of Homeland Security.
Clearly, facial recognition technology is slowly but steadily becoming a thing Americans will need to deal with. Are you comfortable with the government tracking you by placing facial recognition security cameras along busy highways or in downtown areas?
Are you comfortable with private companies like Disney using biometrics?