On Mice, Badges for Your CV, and the Big Data Backlash …

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“The Mouse” has entered the realm of Big Data. According to John Foreman, chief data scientist at MailChimp (an email marketing service provider), Disney World now offers a MagicBand (MB) equipped with radiofrequency identification (RFID). The MB is personalized for each visitor (indeed, it comes with a warning that the band is nontransferable and must be worn by the same person on all days), is used as a room key at resort hotels, can be swiped to purchase food and to check into rides, and acts as a GPS for long-range RFID readers placed around the park. Some of the benefits Foreman described of such a system include receiving a personal birthday greeting from Mickey Mouse or another character wandering by on your birthday and identifying and resolving problems associated with food served in one of the restaurants. In short, it’s personalization of the theme park experience—a seeming contradiction in terms.

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