Fingertip biometrics at Disney turnstiles: the Mouse does its bit for the police state


120 Responses to “Fingertip biometrics at Disney turnstiles: the Mouse does its bit for the police state”

  1. zuzu says:

    A peasant picking coffee beans is just as important as the North American billionaire sipping his morning cup.

    Well… sadly no, the “equal before God” argument falls flat. But I think what we would agree upon is that hierarchy is illusory. We interact with each other as peers but not necessarily as equals.

    What we are pleased to characterize as market economies are indeed not.

    Quite. The hope growing out of popular adoption of the Internet in the 1990s (i.e. the New Economy) was that it could be the first large scale truly Free marketplace.

  2. agerstein says:

    I found the same thing at Sesame Place, and secretly hoped that they were doing actual fingerprinting to check against the local sex offender database.

    Scary? Yes. But as a parent, if they were doing it for that reason, then I’d be down with it.

  3. noen says:

    While it is true the readers have more to do with marketing than security it’s also a fact that many corporations have been very willing to share their marketing data with the government. NPR did a story about that a few years ago. Marketing companies have been all too willing to had over huge databases under the guise of post 911 security concerns.

    So there is every reason to believe that this information will eventually find it’s way into Poindexter’s “Total Information Awareness” program, which is still quite alive and well.

  4. arkizzle says:

    Agerstein, you have named the price of your freedom.

    Mine will cost a little more than that.

  5. Defiant1 says:

    “”don’t go” –You’re seriously using the “you don’t like America, then GET OUT” argument?”

    No, you imbecile.

    I’m using the “If you don’t like what’s on TV, turn it off” argument.

    If you don’t like porn, stay out of the adult bookstore.

    If you don’t like McDonalds, don’t eat there.

    In other words, don’t go, and shut up.

  6. Takuan says:

    there’s no need to be coarse

  7. Antinous says:

    Although I myself am often arrogant and imperious, I feel compelled to remark that I don’t think that referring to another commenter as an imbecile is likely to win you any allies, let alone admirers.

  8. Kid says:


    The problem here is not as naive as:
    “If you don’t like porn, stay out of the adult bookstore.”

    but it really is:
    “I really like porn, but I don’t like this particular porn because beastiality between a goat and a car is just gross to me, yet I still like most of the store’s porn collection, so I am going to the adult bookstore still, but I will write on my blog and complain about that particular bad piece of porn, and how is tainting the rest of my night.”

    I read about Cory’s love for some of Disneyland’s installations, so I would guess he doesn’t hate it totally, but just that security measure.

    Well, I hope you get the joke that I’m replying just because I want to write the second paragraph.

  9. Defiant1 says:


  10. schmod says:

    Are we being disemvoweled simply for disagreeing?

    I don’t, in fact, disagree, but this post is sensationalism at its worst. (and barely coherent at that). Disney have been doing this for years, and it’s been well-established that the data captured by these readers is good for authentication, but not identification.

  11. Defiant1 says:

    So, you like … goats?

  12. Mycroft says:

    I could understand when they did this for the expensive year long full park passes, as those would really easy to give to friends going on vacation when you’re at home, and could easily lose the parks a lot of money. But doing it to keep people from scamming the park out of the price of a day pass is kind of absurd.

  13. Antinous says:

    I just need to know who was on top, the goat or the car?

  14. brettsinger says:

    We’re going to Disney World soon, we’ll see if my kids develop a taste for brown shirts as well as mouse ears.

  15. ogvor says:

    As much as I hate the idea of a government police state, Disney, and the NFL, and concerts, are all allowed to demean you personal, treat you like a criminal, becuase you are giving up certain rights to be their. If you don’t like, you don’t have to go, no one is forcing you too. If an someone gets into Disney World with a gun, Disney can get sued by the victims or realatives, so they probably want to do everything in their power to prevent that.

  16. Antinous says:

    Are we being disemvoweled simply for disagreeing?

    Your disemvoweled comment was rude and insulting. What did you expect?

    You might also note that when Cory writes, “…in my ongoing series of photos from my travels…”, there is no implication that the post is news.

  17. Antinous says:

    A Heian lullaby! But Amazon doesn’t have the CD.

  18. Peggy Hall says:

    Schools condition your kids of the exact same thing.

  19. strider_mt2k says:

    No more about goats, see?


    Now I’ve gone and done it. :(

  20. Antinous says:

    Now I’ve gone and done it.

    If you could get two fingerprints into that little hole…

  21. Sorcerer Mickey says:

    I can’t wait for Cory’s Little Brother to come out and give us the tips & tricks we need to counter the counter-insurgents!

  22. hassan-i-sabbah says:

    Taze that kid!Before he tazes YOU!

  23. Tweeker says:

    Brewcaster:”When did Disney stop being a corporation trying to make money, and start being a conspiracy against our civil liberties. I am going to go outside.”

    Who says they are two different things? See also: Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act.

  24. BSD says:

    Aside from all that, there’s the problem that for a lot of people, fingerprinting is simply NOT RELIABLE. My fingerprints are recognizable as mine on the highest-end fingerprinting equipment, but hand geometry readers will frequently identify me as different at different times of the day, low end fingerprint readers have trouble matching me to my prior scan, and the fingerprint readers that use a swipe (like the ones on most laptops) don’t even recognize my finger as a finger.

    Giant fucking pain — and I’m very concerned that with the coming fingerprint replacements for ID in a lot of situations, it might make me an unperson, or a hassle to identify, at the very least (which is a sort of good thing/bad thing, as if I were trying to remain anonymous it’s a slight help, but my profession often requires me to identify myself).

  25. Jcyreus says:

    Ugh…with the price of admission at Disney parks these days, I can understand why they would want to be sure that they get their cash from absolutely EVERYONE that enters their domain. They would otherwise risk leaving thousands per day uncollected. Regardless of the effectiveness of their strategy to verify and confirm their guest’s identity, having a system in place that will scare people into not even trying to “trick the system” is good enough to prevent 90% of the people who come to their parks from risking the possibility of making a total a$$ of themselves by getting caught at the turnstyle. BTW – interesting conspiracy theory about our emerging police state.

  26. David Carroll says:

    I think inner lip barcode tatoos would be the way to go. The faster we get used to being treated like livestock the better we will be. :)

  27. Order66 says:


    And Santa is watching to see who’s “naughty or nice” as part of an NSA intelligence effort.

    The Disney park staff with be happy to fashion your tinfoil hats into Mouse Ears, free of charge, at the entrance to “Paranoia Land”.

  28. Clif Marsiglio says:

    Ahhh…I miss the days of cheating my way into amusement parks.

    In the Midwest we had Kings Island. It was as simple as taking any ID and showing it as you walked through the employee entrance. Later, they got high tech and required to see the official employee ID, and that just meant find a friend that worked there and hold your thumb over the pict nonchalantly as you walked through. Few of friends even got jobs there for a single day so that they could get their official card, and then quit.

    With the way prices are going up for these places, I might have to go back to my teen ways. Luckily, Cory’s tips might just work!

  29. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Schmod, if you’re pretending that all you did was disagree, you must not know how easy it is to read disemvowelled text.

  30. noen says:

    You are certainly welcome to voice your disagreements Schmod. Join the discussion.

  31. Tommy says:

    Busch Gardens in Williamsburg is doing similar stunts. Theirs is a whole hand deal.

    Funny, I don’t remember being notified of their privacy policy when I bought the pass.

    On the other hand, it’s almost worth living in a police state for that awesome dive coaster of theirs. But you really do need to be in the front row, despite their claims.

  32. ill lich says:

    Hmmm. . .wonder if I could fit my penis in there? Of course that would guarantee nobody else would put their finger in afterwards. . . at least those who saw me put the “mighty midget” in the slot wouldn’t put their fingers in there (or maybe they would if they were carrying “handi-wipes”).

    Of course then if I registered “lil’ lich” as my finger when I bought the ticket I would have to put him in the slot for every ride, wouldn’t I?

    Or just bring a long a rubber finger, and if you want to lend someone your ticket you lend em the finger too.

  33. David Carroll says:

    CBC has a radio show (also a podcast BTW) called DNTO (Definitely not the opera). Recently the topic was privacy. For one segment host Sook-Yin Lee stood outside the CBC building in downtown Toronto, and simply asked passersby for their social insurance number.

    I was floored by the number of people who without hesitation started to give her the number. She cut them off of course.

    Only a few refused and seemed to know how important it is to keep that number confidential.

    All this talk in the media about identity theft is starting to smarten people up, but apparently not fast enough..

  34. Takuan says:

    yeah, but ya have ta promise not to puke on anybody

  35. brewcaster says:

    Ths s th frst hv lrnd f bng dsmvwld. Nt rlly sr why ws. Srry f ddn’t prs th thr, bt thght cmmnts wr hr s w cld rct t th thr nd th cntnt? Th thr s bl t mk llsns tht Dsny s jnng frcs t crt Plc stt, bt m nt llwd t pnt t th thrs ngng sss wth nythng DRM/Scrty rltd? Lm +10

    Rdy t s th vwls dsppr.

  36. shooosh says:

    Damn. I like reading BB but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s filled with tinfoil wearing socialist hippie types. To read here is to see that everyone, including Mickey Mouse, is out to get you.
    Gt lf, g tsd fr whl y wk, pl frks. Th wrld s nt t t gt y.

  37. Antinous says:

    I am not allowed to point out the authors ongoing issues with anything DRM/Security related?

    To the contrary, law and custom allow you to do it – on your own blog. Insult the host at a party, you get a faceful of guacamole. Simple cause and effect.

  38. Jeff says:

    Ill Lich, LOL…pervert. LOL.

  39. Tenn says:


    If we were socialists we wouldn’t be so pissy about communism.

    It is NOT necessary to invade my life. Even if you’re Mickey Mouse. We’re libertarian types, thanks.

  40. schmod says:

    I’d say it’s a step worse than censorship, as it’s effectively modifying a statement with my signature on it, making no note of the fact that this was done.

    If not illegal, such behavior is at the very least, dishonest.

    (And I apologize if I came across as a troll. I have a low tolerance for articles that contradict themselves, are hopelessly out of date, and USE ALL CAPS. I’m normally a big fan of Mr. Doctorow, but this post comes across as rambling and incoherent)

  41. brewcaster says:

    lv gcml. Bt dn’t lv cnsrshp. Cld y rlly gv m fc fll f gcml nxt tm nstd f cnsrng m fr dsgrng n yr plygrnd?

  42. Antinous says:

    Get a life, go outside for a while you weak, pale freaks.

    Got projection?

  43. shooosh says:

    TENN: If we were socialists we wouldn’t be so pissy about communism.

    If you were in charge at Disney you’d be jumping for joy. Lf nvsn s fn, s lng s t’s nt yrs. Lt m gss, Hllry fn?

  44. Antinous says:

    One of the best things about getting older is that, not only do you accept that the universe jerks your chain occasionally, you realize that it’s a good thing.

  45. Antinous says:

    Do they make rainbow-anodized aluminum foil?

  46. brewcaster says:

    Tr, gn, sr d lv gcml. LV T! Hdd t th dr t t sm mxcn grb. Y wr rght grt mdrtr, t s gd thng. Hw dd y gn yr sprm knwldg f lf? mmmmmmmmmmm gcml….

  47. Takuan says:

    shoosh; let me guess; Gbbls fn?

  48. n says:

    “(again — they’re very poorly trained on this point)”

    Disney World pays minimum wage and hires 90% of the people who go into casting. You get what you pay for.

  49. Antinous says:

    I’m not a moderator. I just support the people who provide me with free entertainment.

  50. Antinous says:

    Now somebody has to buy it, complete it and take a picture of it to use as a chaser.

  51. Takuan says:

    guacamole bukakke?

    Have times really changed so much? Are there really so many people out there now that have never faced any social consequences? Is the entire world now raised in basements in front of monitors?

  52. Scoutmaster says:

    In the Philippines, shotgun-armed guards stand in front of any business dealing with money, cops tote full auto AR-15 rifles, and every time you go in the mall you line up, lift your arms for a pat down and and open your bag for a quick search from an armed security officer.

  53. Scoots says:

    Just stop going.

  54. dequeued says:

    Stop bitching omg it’s not a big deal why don’t you just cooperate with them!!

    If you just submitted it would be over and done with and you could get on with your life, and instead you make a big scene and hold up the line for no good reason.

    Besides it’s just poor working people in those costumes why do you have to make their lives difficult.

    There, I think I have made a good run through the different apologies for it.

  55. Antinous says:

    The truth points to itself.

  56. zuzu says:

    Other factors also include “I washed off my inkstamp after diaper change!” and “I lost my badge/pass!”

    “I lost the cash I left on the dresser!” Though maybe replacement for money lost due to incompetence only happens if you’re Bear & Stearns.

    @76 Number 4

    “Re “Don’t go” — you guys ever hear of capitalism? In a capitalist system, customers of businesses express their views on those businesses in order to influence those business’s behavior.” And if the businesses are still making money from said customers, what’s their incentive for changing?

    It’s like voting; you and I may recognize that this is incredibly stupid (and dangerous), but obviously most customers don’t care.

    At least voting-with-money is proportional; democracy relies on winner-take-all — as we see with the Real ID Act. I can choose not to attend Disney World; but I cannot choose a DMV that issues less personally invasive proof that I have the skill to operate a motor vehicle.

  57. scottfree says:

    om nom nom nom nom.

  58. brewcaster says:

    Shckr, Cry s cmplnng bt prvcy nd/r DRM. f y dn’t lk thr bsnss prctc, dn’t g. Wr y scrmng bt plc stts whn thy strtd pttng ths rdrs n lptps? thnk tchnlgy scrs y.

  59. Takuan says:

    for what Disney costs,wouldn’t you rather take your kid kayaking with whales, charter a light plane, learn to scuba dive, buy a really BIG telescope…..

  60. mdhatter says:

    #13 – for the troll

  61. schmod says:

    Thy’v hd ths fr 10 yrs.

    Ths s vn lttl bt vrbrd fr Cry. Wr y drnk whn y pstd ths?

  62. Oren Beck says:

    A fingerprint “match the ticket to the person” system. Seems rational and merely an application of tech to secure access controls. Oh, there is a putative “opt out” provision. With even the youngest children being conditioned to view anyone opting out as somehow “bad” That’s how Freedom goes piecemeal from reality to mythical. On Sunday, it’s a corporate statist revenue protection tool. On Monday- you’re told that a check or even DEBIT card is invalid absent your thumbprint. Except?

    Almost 20+ years ago I was at the “Highland” big box store in Evanston,IL. They told my wife that they would not accept her check unless she gave a thumbprint. that cost them about four hundred something bucks. See- they were so insistent about the thumbprint that even though my wife offered to have them call the bank while we waited, policy was no print=no check accepted. We left.
    My wife is still less than happy with them for how degrading and insulting they were. In their view? It seemed as if anyone questioning “policy” was fair game for derision. That was as I said- Christmas of either 89 or 90 thereabouts.

    I do wonder how much of a “I only spend my money at places that do not demand Bio ID” campaign it will take?

    As I fear the next step will come when you attempt to buy oh say-Gasoline, you will be compelled to show ID/be Printed. It’s state or local law in many places that Gasoline can only be sold to a person holding a valid driver’s license. So- the day of having to scan your D/L before your debit card or handing cash to the clerk is technically a fait accompli if only they dare to enforce it as such. We already have the kids in line behind you conditioned to berate your stupidity for not knowing “the rules” That’s the power of such as Disney. Making reality over into line with fantasies. Even horridly dystopian ones. One step closer to Orwell’s Boot.

  63. Kaleberg says:

    When I went to Disneyland several thousand years ago they used those A through E tickets for the different kinds of rides. When you bought your ticket book, you knew you had so many teacup rides for each submarine or river boat. The best part was finding lost coupons under benches or in the shrubbery. My sister and I had several extra rides, even a couple of E rides, thanks to our keen eyesight and childlike willingness to crawl around on the asphalt.

  64. Anonymous says:

    How safe is fingerprint scanning? Especially with epidemics like the swine flu? Everyone puts their finger on the scanner. Who knows where that finger has been?

  65. Takuan says:

    so they’ve been wrong for 10 years. Wrong is wrong.

  66. Bren says:

    This seems like yet another bad data gathering effort for everything from park traffic flow to marketing … at least to me.

    In the olden days, when there was just one Disneeyland. they stamped your hand so you could go out and back in.

    Now they want to know, when did you go out? What time did you go back in? Are Americans more likely to leave at certain times and return at other likely times? What do visiting Asians do? What do Euros do? It all effects how the market their services to be more attractive, and how they staff the park. No need to have a 1000 employees more than you need at certain hours, etc. The system could save a great deal of money in efficiencies.

    Other factors also include “I washed off my inkstamp after diaper change!” and “I lost my badge/pass!”

    I doubt they even considered the unintended implications of the toddler’s statement in the last paragraph. BUT THEY SHOULD!

  67. azumauta says:

    I dunno.. fingers.. hands.. are they going to start using those to cut off our appendages with lasers when we don’t comply?

    Mr. Carroll has the right of it. It’s probably too much to hope that we can get cute cartoon characters along with our barcode huh?

  68. Antinous says:

    Maybe this will spark an illegal trade in fingers. Then Cory can use ‘corpsemeat’ again.

  69. Village Idiot says:

    Quote #109″,i>I found the same thing at Sesame Place, and secretly hoped that they were doing actual fingerprinting to check against the local sex offender database.

    Scary? Yes. But as a parent, if they were doing it for that reason, then I’d be down with it”

    So then you’d like to have an utterly false sense of security at Sesame Place, since sex offender registries (or background checks) only list convicted sex offenders, not first-timers or the ones who haven’t been caught yet. Relying on gadgets like a fingerprint scanner to assuage concerns about sex offenders is outsourcing parental responsibilities to technology, or maybe Parenting Lite.

    That’s the problem; almost all of these gee-whiz technologies offer merely the illusion of security. IMO one of the most dangerous and scary groups in the world is the self-appointed army of Concerned Parents thanks to their often irrational responses to real or perceived threats. This is why “protecting the children” is usually used as the slogan to sell the next load of freedom-restricting BS; it’s about pulling emotional strings and parents are among the most easily fooled with that method.

    Scary? Yes, but I’m referring to your attitude about what you’re willing to subject other people to for what you believe is the sake of your child.

  70. Adam Weiss says:

    I get it. To say that you love Disney theme parks would be a complete understatement. I agree, as a child, they can be awe-inspiring places that excite the imagination.

    That said, as time has marched along and the inevitable process of learning that everything you once loved is really not what you thought it was has worked its magic, my thinking on these sorts of things has changed drastically.

    When I was a child I was obsessed with all things technology that integrated with society. Doors with keycards? How cool! You get your very own keycard that is keyed to the doors you need to access and they open for you. Disneyland, what a marvel! People get into the cars, the operator pushes the go button. The system takes them on a ride. The system handles n thousand people per hour. The whole system works like clockwork! Traffic lights, how neat! They tell people when they can go and when they have to stop.

    For me, at least, I think I was attracted to these ideas for two reasons. One, they were very structured and regular. No surprises, everything works as expected, both machines and the people who’s lives are intertwined (or even controlled) by them. Two, control. These systems provided centralized control. For some reason, that appealed to me, perhaps because I knew that I had a knack for systems.

    Fast forward to now, I realize that these sorts of things are downright evil. Computers are used as tools in business to centralize control and stifle creativity. Security doors with personalized keyed entry aren’t cool, they’re a tool to control people. Traffic lights? Yeah, I guess they’re necessary. But Disneyland…

    As a stark contrast to years ago, Disney theme parks are now terrifying to me. They represent an experience so contrived and controlled that even Aldous Huxley would shudder. Think about it. Everything you do in a Disney theme park has been planned for. Your behavior is essentially being controlled, in exchange for a contrived experience. The folks that work the parks are part of an underclass that is not exactly in the right financial bracket to be able to visit them.

    To me, Disney parks represent a terrifying dystopia where the gap between the rich and the poor is staggering. The rich march along exactly as they’re expected to in their completely contrived wonderland, the poor mop the floors. When I think of Disneyland, I think of Metropolis. No kidding!

    With that in mind, it’s no surprise to me that biometric security would show up at a Disney park. Whether they realize it or not, the designers behind these parks are masters of treating people like cattle, controlling their range of behavior and securing against anything that might get in the way of their goals.

    The fact that it’s all behind a smiling mouse meant to appeal to children only makes it more creepy…

  71. Argon says:

    “Just stop going.” … You may boycott it, but those kids still go there, happily getting fingerprinted. They will grow up in a world where it’s totally normal to be fingerprinted like a criminal, several times a day. What do you think your retirement home will look like? Implanted RFID locator chips (for your own safety)? Security cameras on the toilet (for your own safety)? Censored communication with the outside world (because too much excitement is bad for you)? You think that’s weird? They won’t. Old people have to be kept safe.

    The young generation will have to pay so much for their (still ongoing…) war on terror. The old people should contribute for their safety too. Let’s decide that the whole pension scheme is obsolete. Old people don’t need so much money anyway, when it’s cheaper (and safer!) to pen them up in secure retirement centers. Security works great. We taught them so.

    You’re not afraid of a society whose children never experienced individual freedom? Some of them will become politicians. Be afraid. Be very afraid. Paranoia? Yeah. Time will tell.

  72. Takuan says:

    I do note that transplanted Japanese (raised in a relatively conformist, controlled society) blossom into North American teenage hellions in about a day and a half. I wouldn’t worry too much, I suppose we could evolve into Hive nebbishes – but we’ll we it coming.

  73. brewcaster says:

    TH SKY S FLLNG!!!!

  74. indigoskye says:

    I’ve read rumors that the Disney theme parks will soon be doing away with biometric scanners anyway.

    But you’re absolutely right about them training us to accept that sort of scanning. I remember reading that Disney’s use of the biometric scanners has been part of a program to see how well the public accepts them.

  75. Takuan says:


  76. JG says:

    Today in my ongoing series of comments on Cory’s photos I gotta say, when it comes to fears about abusive security measures Disney admission tactics are really among the least of our problems.

    “You oughta know not to stand by the window somebody might see you up there,” Talking Heads, security analysts.


  77. zuzu says:

    What these readers are effective at is conditioning kids to accept surveillance and routine searches and identity checks without particularized suspicion. One morning at Epcot Center, as we offered our ID to the castmember at the turnstile and began to argue (again — they’re very poorly trained on this point) that we could indeed opt to show ID instead of being printed, a small boy behind us chirped up, “No you have to be fingerprinted! Everybody has to be fingerprinted!”

    This is the true purpose. Just as it is with compulsory student ID badges in public schools. The intent is to socialize and normalize submission to tracking and identification. Remember the woman who refused to identify herself on a bus? The inculcation of Disney World and public schooling is to condition the “C student” kids likely to grow up to work as guards, jailers, and enforcers as to what “normal” behavior “should be”. It is part of the militarization of public space.

  78. pinup57 says:

    Just put a carrot in there instead of your finger.

  79. Takuan says:

    Don’t go.

  80. brewcaster says:


    You truly believe they sat in a meeting and said, 1-”OK, so we are going to start using these fingerprint readers at our gates.”
    2-”What’s the reason? Is it to maximize our ticket sales by stopping ticket sharing?”
    1-”NO WAY! Obviously The intent is to socialize and normalize submission to tracking and identification. Also, to condition the “C student” kids likely to grow up to work as guards, jailers, and enforcers as to what “normal” behavior “should be”.

    When did Disney stop being a corporation trying to make money, and start being a conspiracy against our civil liberties. I am going to go outside.

  81. Kid says:


    I agree. There is no substantial proof for such conspiracy. However, the subconscious effect that Cory mentioned is valid.

    I am fortunately taught by my parents to ask if it is necessary when shopkeepers (especially in big box stores) ask for my phone number, zip code, social security or any identifications.

    But I am not good at protecting my rights when it comes to filling forms. When I was at school, I was taught to fill in all the blanks in a form to get full marks, and therefore, the habit continued.

    Does anyone know if it is really necessary to fill in all the fields when a landlord or a credit card issuer ask you to do it? I seriously don’t think so. Anyone?

  82. crotchetyoldfan says:

    LOL. So absolutely true.

    Several years ago I went through the earlier incarnation of this security hell – Disney was supposedly taking a “finger bone scan”.

    Here’s the upshot. I refused to participate. I was told I “had to” because I had already purchased my ticket. (This was presented as something only Florida residents had to do at the time.)

    I asked for an immediate refund.

    Security showed up, took me through the gate (no scan) and asked for photo ID. I happened to have some and complied with that request (tho I was sorely tempted not to).

    I then informed security that I considered the intrusion to be the equivalent of asking me to “whip my dick out” and was told (with a chuckle) that “some people might see it that way”.

    Meanwhile, my wife who had been immediately behind me in line was asked to do the scan thing and said “I’m not doing it if he doesn’t have to do it” and was ushered through the line. She was NEVER even asked for photo ID.

    (We left a long line of curious, concerned and baffled individuals behind us.)

    It was security theater indeed.

    Ultimately, we discovered that we were being followed around the park all day by an elderly couple who just so happened to be going everywhere we were, at the same time. I took to informing them of our next stop so they could keep up.

    But the REAL irony of the day was when we discovered that all of the bathrooms had one-way mirrors mounted on a closet door, behind which was a video camera. The one in the men’s room faced the urinals.

    Next time I go back, I’ll be armed with one of those 16 inch ‘Bam’ dildos…

  83. Takuan says:

    when one ignores the rules, the rules frequently get rewritten to exclude them

  84. Defiant1 says:

    Don’t go, or move to Cuba.

  85. salsaman says:

    I prefer to think that these absurd scanners condition kids to reject, spoof, and break the stupid, dangerous machines that weaken our rights as citizens.

  86. Cory Doctorow says:

    Re “Don’t go” — you guys ever hear of capitalism? In a capitalist system, customers of businesses express their views on those businesses in order to influence those business’s behavior.

    Speaking of “don’t go” — if you don’t like market economies, move to a banana republic somewhere.

  87. Avram says:

    You’d think they’d’ve at least put two more circles above the scanner, as ears.

  88. Number 4 says:

    Oh, #80:

    “No, you imbecile.

    I’m using the “If you don’t like what’s on TV, turn it off” argument.”

    Guess you missed the point that I was replying to Doctorow’s argument *against* “don’t go”.

    Good reading comprehension skills you got there. “Imbecile”, indeed.

  89. Number 4 says:

    “Re “Don’t go” — you guys ever hear of capitalism? In a capitalist system, customers of businesses express their views on those businesses in order to influence those business’s behavior.”

    And if the businesses are still making money from said customers, what’s their incentive for changing?

    “Speaking of “don’t go” — if you don’t like market economies, move to a banana republic somewhere.”

    You’re seriously using the “you don’t like America, then GET OUT” argument?

  90. Takuan says:

    what better way to express your opinion of a business’s offerings than not to go? Not to buy?

    Of course you have to TELL them you aren’t going. Otherwise, whats the point?

  91. Takuan says:

    further,isn’t a banana republic the ultimate epitome of a market economy? Not the place in it you wish to live in ,but an essential part nonetheless.

  92. zuzu says:

    @ 29 & 30

    When did Disney stop being a corporation trying to make money, and start being a conspiracy against our civil liberties.

    They didn’t, and often it’s not an overt “conspiracy” as you have characterized, but tacitly the “collective intelligence” of megacorporations such as Disney seem to understand enough about long-term planning that pacification of customers now leads to more stable and predictable (i.e. less uncertain) customer markets in the future. As businesses seek to mitigate uncertainty, some improve the agility of their responses to changing conditions (as they should), but others (especially the very large ones) tend to realize that it’s easier for them to reshape the landscape than it is to alter their internal structure.

    Witness the adoption of public relations (i.e. propaganda) as one set of tools for reshaping customers rather than redesigning products.

  93. noen says:

    Banana republics are feudal economies. That is the direction the entire global economy is headed. Nation states are on the wane while corporate power waxes.

    Doesn’t take a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

  94. Takuan says:

    banana republics exist because wealthy capitalist societies lacking scruples exist to prop them up and benefit from them. Otherwise,you just have a lot of happy Indians living in the jungle.

  95. zuzu says:

    further,isn’t a banana republic the ultimate epitome of a market economy?

    No, a banana republic is only one style of corporatism.

  96. Takuan says:

    very well, isn’t a banana republic the ultimate expression of the resources market economies create to sustain their own growth, regardless of the human cost?

  97. Antinous says:

    I like bananas.

  98. bcsizemo says:

    I guess few people have read Cory’s Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom. I totally see the condition going on everyday. I can even see myself slipping into it, little by little. While I do believe trust has to be earned, it also has to be given. Especially for an entity as large as Disney. True they are a corporation, and Disney World isn’t public (as in terms of an “open space”), so technically then can do what they want. It that means subjecting everyone to a full roto-router cavity search, then to the back of the teeth it shall be. And you options? Limited at best, and futile at worst. Unfortunately in this world power is granted to those with money, not those with common sense.

  99. Takuan says:

    I see…. a calm, measured response is called for….KILLTHEMOUSE! KILLTHEMOUSE! KILLTHEMOUSE!!

  100. noen says:

    It all boils down to human greed and the need for power over others. In practice it isn’t much more nuanced than that.

    I agree with Cory that this represent a further slide toward a surveillance society. Some of that is to be expected simply due to the crush of over population. Asian cultures have been dealing with this a long time and have chosen to give up some of their individuality. We in the west are less comfortable with that solution and would like to retain the freedoms we enjoy when the population density is not so great. I don’t know if there is a solution or not.

    In the meantime we could do with a lot less raping and pillaging and death and destruction. Not holding my breath on that.

  101. phas3d says:

    Disney had the biometric readers planned long before the events of September 11th.

    Having worked at Disney and knowing several people who work there and are “insiders” in the corporate ranks i will say that the readers have nothing to do with “security” and everything to do with marketing.

    Disney uses the readers to capture information on who is coming to parks at what times, what days, etc. They track age, gender, native/non-native to Florida, how much you spend on average, etc.

    Many don’t know but Disney instituted an economic plan years ago where, in summary, each year specific areas of the parks MUST increase each year by a certain percentage. The bio readers are just Disney’s attempt to assist them in maintaining their marketing goals.

  102. piercepresley says:

    Sea World San Antonio does the same thing. Annoying as hell, it is.

  103. Village Idiot says:

    Where do you think those cattle chutes that you have to walk through on the way through security at the airport originated? You know, those dehumanizing and circuitous reminders of how we’re each just some thing on its way to being somehow ‘processed’ at the other end of the line even as we’re indirectly insulting ourselves by making little “moo”ing noises…

    Did you guess “Disney?” Bingo! Disney has had an interest in crowd control and keeping people within designated areas for a long time now (they’ve had security cameras everywhere since at least the mid-80′s). Sure, it’s part of their business model rather than some secret R&D program for crowd control and keeping people within designated areas in general, but that’s not to say some of Disney’s innovations have not been adopted by others with precisely those intentions. On the other hand, these folks tend to have lunch with each other and otherwise run in the same circles, so differentiating Disney from the U.S Government is like pretending there’s a difference between oil companies and the Gov’t.

    The larger portion of the “Magic” Kingdom is never seen by the general public; all we get is the flashing lights, marching bands, and idle amusements. So long as you don’t open the doors you’re not supposed to, wander from any designate paths, pay up what you’re asked to pay, and don’t cause any ‘scenes’ then you can have yourself a remarkably mediocre time. Seems like that’s another aspect of Disney that’s been adopted elsewhere…

  104. Anonymous says:

    Went to WDW last week.

    To get our passes, I had to provide ID.
    She swipes my Driver’s license and takes the information including my full legal name, address and when I ask if it’s required, I am told “yes”.

    Now the mouse knows who I am, my age and where I live.

    Next, I go to enter the park. Anyone with a bag has it searched. Understandable, someone may bring a gun or joint in. It’s happened so many times before. (sarcasm)

    Entering the park.. must put my ticket/pass into the turnstyle’s card reader and then put my finger on a scanner (as mentioned in this post several times).

    Now that I’m in the park, I am faced with ridiculous wait times for rides, partially caused by the Fastpass system. Don’t be fooled. The ride lines aren’t usually as long as the timer says and if you ever read a Disney castmember forum you will find that Fastpass slows everything down. If 100 people weren’t cutting line then you wouldn’t wait 45-60 minutes. Anyway, I now must accept Fastpass to ride without waiting in line for almost an hour per ride. Now, Fastpass makes me plan my day on a schedule like school or work. Be at Splash Mountain at 2:30, then get Fastpass for the next ride and go back to that ride at 4:15. It’s stupid. Back on topic…

    Fastpass requires that I use my ticket to get a pass. Therefore the Mouse now knows who I am, where I live, my age, sex and what times I enter and leave the park and now.. what rides I like and when/how often I go on them.

    It may not necessarily be a privacy issue for me, (although I really think they are pushing it when they require my ID be entered into a computer instead of verbally asking my name/address or visually checking ID but it is obviously for their own benefit of tracking activity for marketing purposes or other reasons as suggested in previous comments. The day is made more stressful with constant problems with the ticket machines, Fastpass machines, lines caused by both and what used to be a relaxing day to wander from one part of a park to another now requires diligent scheduling and planning if you don’t want to spend 8 hours a day in line in order to ride half the rides at the park.

    If the annual pass wasn’t a gift I would have told the mouse to shove it.

    I have been to Disney World over 35 times in my life. It will never be the same for me

  105. Songe says:

    I think this is an issue for Cory because he really, really likes disney world, but really, really doesn’t like offensive and useless security measures.

    In fact, if you had to sketch his entire public image with a single blog post this would be it. “I wanted to go to the Mickey Mouse tiki Asimov reading, but they confiscated my AK47 belt buckle, made me take off my super cool arabic script tshirt made by this incredible artist who I know (link) and then DRM happened and now I’m liveblogging in ethiopia about it on a steampunk tse-tse fly protocol wi-fly”

  106. zuzu says:

    very well, isn’t a banana republic the ultimate expression of the resources market economies create to sustain their own growth, regardless of the human cost?

    I doubt that banana republics are an ultimate expression of anything. They are simply one example of the exercise of violence to coerce people into behavior they otherwise do not choose to do, but socialism is another example of such a system. Market economies are defined as voluntary individual coordination through market action (i.e. price signals, mutual trade).

    The exercise of violence is the hallmark of government, but as violence is solely destructive, armed gangs must “feed” upon wealth created by others to survive. Often this leads to a stabilizing government-business partnership, where a business begins to exercise government sanctioned violence as a kind of coercive fraud with its trading partners, in exchange for the wealth the government needs to consume to survive (a kind of goose that lays the golden egg, usually called “taxes” or “protection money”).

    If you’re a Lord of the Rings fan, think of the exercise of violence (i.e. government) as Sauron’s Ring of Power. It corrupts whoever wears it into its bidding, but it also seduces potential wearers with supernatural powers because the ring itself is an inanimate object and cannot travel on its own. It needs someone (e.g. a business) to “wear” it.

    (Ignoring the interpretation of Tolkein’s work on the whole as essentially classist. ^_^ )

  107. Takuan says:

    is there an optical window on that thing? Can everyone dip a fingertip in abrasive before going through?

  108. Takuan says:

    in other words, being of pure heart he is offended by those who are not and accuse him of the same.

  109. Antinous says:

    Grease your finger. Layer some superglue over the grease.

  110. Anonymous says:

    I cannot believe that parks are doing this, I just had a child and was so excited to take him to Disney and other parks and now I have to wonder what do they need with our fingerprints and such personal info. Privacy has no meaning in this country anymore. Americans need to start reading what this country was founded on and realize that we are no longer living in the country that the people who created it envisioned for us.
    No theme parks for us if that’s the way its going to be, F them. WHO DO THEY THINK THEY ARE!!!!

  111. Takuan says:

    for a market economy to exist,by definition,the VOLUNTARY participation must extend from end to end.

    A peasant picking coffee beans is just as important as the North American billionaire sipping his morning cup.

    What we are pleased to characterize as market economies are indeed not.

    An old film, do dig it up: “O lucky Man!” starring a very young Malcom McDowell

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