• On January 24, 2013, Congressman Ed Markey, D-Mass., sent a letter to The Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Robert A. Iger expressing concern over Disney’s plans to introduce a new visitor tracking system called MyMagic+. The system will include a wristband, called the “MagicBand,” onto which park visitors can upload certain personal information, including credit card details and birthdays, and can track their interactions throughout the park. Rep. Markey wrote that MyMagic+ “raises a number of important questions about how the personal privacy of Disney’s 30 million guests each year will be protected, particularly when it comes to kids and teenagers.” The letter included a number of questions seeking further information about the kinds of data Disney intends to collect and how it plans to use and protect that data. In an irritated reply sent on January 28, Iger stated that Disney was “offended by the ludicrous and utterly ill-informed assertion(s)” in Markey’s letter and chastised Markey, stating that ”most of the answers to your questions already existed and were publicly available online.” Iger went on to explain that MyMagic+ is an optional program that was designed with privacy in mind from the outset, and that Disney will not use the data for targeted advertising and will not share it with third-party marketers.

Congressman Markey’s letter is available here.

Iger’s reply is available here.

  • On January 31, 2013, the FTC announced that it received 744 eligible submissions for its Robocall Challenge. The Robocall Challenge is a contest that will pay a $50,000 cash prize for the best technical solution for blocking illegal robocalls. More information regarding the announcement is available here. A brief description of each entry is also available here.