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The Happiest Surveillance State on Earth
Image source: Creative Commons, modified from original

The Happiest Surveillance State on Earth

Big Brother lauds Disney as a paragon of modern surveillance. The House of Mouse has truly perfected their ability to extract and exploit the data of their gleefully consenting customers, per a recent University of Illinois study. 

Oh Boy! Disney families are not just okay with it, they’re exuberant! They rush to wait in line for hours, surrendering any and all personal information in exchange for magical Mickey memories that will last a lifetime. With MagicBand+ wallet and keys are not needed, freeing parents to focus on bonding with their children. Although Disney doesn’t market to kids under 13, little ones’ information is stored for future customized marketing delight!

Patrons prefer to embrace this vacation from their privacy so long as the illusion of family fun is not shattered. To this end, Disney Imagineers playfully hide cameras in props and miniatures throughout the park. They noticed that you lingered at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, and want to remind you that Cinderella is posing for pictures at her castle for just a swipe of your MagicBand+!


  • A new study has found that Disney theme parks use technology such as security cameras and MagicBands to conduct “pervasive location monitoring, facial recognition, [and] data integration.”

  • MagicBands are wristbands that connect to visitors’ digital wallets for park purchases including tickets, hotel rooms, food, merchandise, and Disney PhotoPass images.

  • The company works alongside US government agencies to conduct surveillance for public health and safety reasons. It has previously worked with Chinese companies.

  • It also hides its surveillance cameras in props and miniatures to make them seem more friendly to kids. Its surveillance apparatus reportedly makes it the fifth-largest security company in the world, with its technology now being used by airports and governments.

  • While Disney doesn’t directly market to the young children attending its parks, it does collect their data for future marketing schemes as they reach marketing age.

Sources: Inside the Magic, Disney World, Illinois Experts and Raj Goel.