A software engineer in my Facebook community wrote recently about his outrage that when he visited Disneyland, and went on a ride, the theme park offered him the photo of himself and his girlfriend to buy – with his credit card information already linked to it. He noted that he had never entered his name or information into anything at the theme park, or indicated that he wanted a photo, or alerted the humans at the ride to who he and his girlfriend were – so, he said, based on his professional experience, the system had to be using facial recognition technology. He had never signed an agreement allowing them to do so, and he declared that this use was illegal. He also claimed that Disney had recently shared data from facial-recognition technology with the United States military.

Yes, I know: it sounds like a paranoid rant.

Except that it turned out to be true. News21, supported by the Carnegie and Knight foundations, reports that Disney sites are indeed controlled by face-recognition technology, that the military is interested in the technology, and that the face-recognition contractor, Identix, has contracts with the US government – for technology that identifies individuals in a crowd.



  1. Mark says:

    Is it safe to comment here?

    • deowll says:

      Your posts on are are being downloaded and crawled by software looking for key terms and phrases. Being here may be enough to put you on a suspect list unless you are Dallas. Since Dallas is an ultra liberal, Dallas could most likely get away with making threats, etc. and still stay in the good graces of our current national leaders. Of course the data stays in the data banks and what our next fearless leader thinks makes you a national threat might not be the same as our current fearless leader. Thus Dallas’s support of some rather over the top OWS demonstrators just might put Dallas on a suspicious persons list at some point in the future.

      • Dallas says:

        Well, i simply cite facts assiciated with the blog posts and draw a reasonable, albeit witty conclusion. I can see how this might be outrageous to the ‘mommy is always right’ sheeple.

        You on the other hand, might come with a predisposed conclusion (conservative think) and argue around the facts to maintain the mommy position.

        To the question…I would say that yes, info on the Internet in crawled for patterns. Lunatic fringe individuals are likely ‘tagged’ for additional ‘processing’.

  2. Publius says:

    Military already HAS disney’s facial recognition tech. US Navy blimp was combing the Jersey shore beaches at 300 feet altitude in June and July virtually every day. They were most likely fine-tuning facial and body recognition systems, and adding people to their database. Military doesn’t want facial recognition TECH, they want FACES and DATABASES from disney.

    — former USN software engineer

    • noname says:

      It’s all in preparation for the Nov. elections .

      Many people think, this would be simply a violation of the Posse Comitatus Act. However, apparently by simply calling something an insurrection, i.e. a Presidential Fiat, there is no violation of the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878. Essentially we don’t have a President, we have an elected Monarch or King.

      By Presidential Fiat, the Prez can order American(s) killed on sight!

      Today Americans are no longer citizens, they are subjects to our government, allowed to stay alive at the pleasure of the President!

      • deowll says:

        I wanted to disagree and I can’t.

      • Grey Bird says:

        I’m disagreeing, because the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 prevents _local_ governments from using the US Army (& later Air Force) as law enforcement. Any authority to use them in this manner must be in the US Constitution or by an Act of the US Congress, _not_ the President. He can direct them after being given the authority, but the act does not give him that authority.

      • Dallas says:

        You’re exhibit A to my post above!

  3. sargasso_c says:

    Well then! I am definitely going to wear a turban next time I visit the Happiest Place on Earth.

    • I'm ugly and my mother dresses me funny says:

      Probably sunglasses and some zinc oxide on your nose and a few other places should do it.

      • sargasso_c says:

        I could go the whole Lawrence of Arabia?

        • Joan Dvorak says:

          Yeah. Wait for that to be declared illegal soon.

          No sunglasses or hats in public spaces. Although the cameras can possibly see through sunglasses. We’ll have to work on something opaque to IR.

    • noname says:

      Hum, why did they choose the beach? Let see, it’s a guess…but… maybe because it’s bright with clear weather and people don’t swim with turbans or sunglasses? Also, a technical possibility, the supreme court would uphold, the military is not operating on or over American soil!

      If you want to stay unnoticed and innocuous, stay indoors and close the windows to keep the aerial micro-drones out; and don’t forget to shut the freaking chimney flue (a horror film classic mistake)! Don’t use your cell phones, or log in to read Dvorak Uncensored (John is really a Homeland Security Cyborg!)

      • Grey Bird says:

        If they were over the beach, then they _were_ on or over American soil, since it goes well beyond the beach. 12 miles for some purposes, 50 miles for others.

    • Dallas says:

      I always get face painted like a tiger. Rawr

  4. SchwettyBalls says:

    Why do people still pay thousands of dollars to go to these places?

    • noname says:

      For free governmental photographs and data base inclusion, you silly!

  5. Jefire70 says:

    I call BS on this story. Since I was just at Disney Land 2 months ago. The was no Biometrics at the gates. I have to have my pass scanned each time. The only hand scanned was the die stamp (on the way out) on the back of my hand for re-entry. That was so no-one else could use my card again to get in. I ordered pics from rides and had to give my credit card each time. No our hotel keys from the Disney Land hotel we stand out was tied to our credit card. We could use that to buy Stuff.

    • noname says:

      Disney has got a really nice data base going!

      No wonder the military want’s it. Disney has your picture, your credit card, your hotel reservation card (typically with car make/model, License plate #, driver license picture ID#).

      The Military or Homeland Security can use the Disney data to link into your credit history, purchase history, your state driver license data base (has your SSN) …..

      Basically the government has a better dossier that’s automated on you then the gestapo ever had of the Jews!

      You better hope your ethnic nationality is never deemed dangerous or a national security risk or you and your family will be rounded up and put into a Japanese style internment camp!

      Or maybe, they will only follow you around everywhere, inform your employer your a risk and put you on a no-fly list.

      Good luck with that Naivete you got going!

      • Know Your Jackbooted Thugs! says:

        That was the SS, not the Gestapo.

        That whole jew thing was Himmler.

        Actually the skull and crossbones on their caps and collars probably gave it away.

    • NewformatSux says:

      They can scan your face when you purchase the ticket, and then scan when riding.

      This would also be a problem for people who buy weekly passes then split it among several people. Not that I used those when going to Disneyland, to save $200.

  6. roy b. giv says:

    if it were Europe, Rfid on the card would link to the pitchers, or somethin’ lak that. keep your cards under the tinfoil cap!

    • Joan Dvorak says:

      Tin foil is very expensive.

      Aluminum foil is quite affordable and can be purchased almost anywhere.

      I have a platinum skullcap, custom made, woven into my long luxurious real human hair wig.

  7. anonymous coward says:

    The whole story is bs.

    Face recognition has been available to the general public for years (picassa has the best), that means the pentagon had it years before us

    • Grey Bird says:

      Such as it is… Picassa, iPhoto & others have it, but while it is better than a few years ago it’s still not that good. I agree that the story is likely bogus. Even if Disney had facial recognition they would have to take a baseline first, and the credit card wouldn’t be automatically tied to it (especially since the supposed software engineer didn’t use his credit card to make the purchase). Another clue of bogosity is that the “software engineer in my Facebook community” is never named and also supposedly said “based on his professional experience, the system had to be using facial recognition technology” so it’s an assumption made by an unnamed individual in Facebook. If it was real, it would be all over the news, broadcast and print, starting locally in California. Not solely in the blogosphere. This would be big news, if true, and the newscasters would be all over it.

      • noname says:

        ” This would be big news, if true, and the newscasters would be all over it.” is that in your argument?

        Really, you actually believe the news is something more then a mere mouth piece for the government!

        You must be the last person on earth who believes American News actually pays it’s reporters to do investigative journalism. Where have you been for the last 30 years?

        • Grey Bird says:

          Uh, no. That’s not what I said. News makes money and this would bring lots of viewers to the local new and so they would report it. Duh! I’m just saying that since the local and national news aren’t reporting this (which would make them big money via viewership) it’s likely untrue. Also the news isn’t the mouthpiece of the government, it’s the mouthpiece of corporations.

          • noname says:

            Since by your astounding use of deductive reasoning, “it’s likely untrue” then Uncle Dave is wrong?

            “Except that it turned out to be true. News21, supported by the Carnegie and Knight foundations, reports that Disney sites are indeed controlled by face-recognition technology, that the military is interested in the technology, and that the face-recognition contractor, Identix, has contracts with the US government – for technology that identifies individuals in a crowd.”

    • Cap'nKangaroo says:

      What Disney has is the numbers, i.e. the vast washed and unwashed hordes passing thru their parks every day. To improve the technology quickly, you need massive amounts of faces to run the algorithms against. I would be suprised if the companies ARE NOT also being deployed at events such as college and pro football games, arena concerts, and any high traffic transit systems.

      As to legality, what is illegal about camera systems in highly public places?

      • noname says:

        Cap’nKangaroo, your right! If you want reliable matches, you need implanted RFID tags with public readers. The technology is no different then what Wall-mart uses to track it’s inventory.

        In our new world, instead of giving birth certificates, every American new born gets a RFID implant. That and biometric systems offer the most secure, cost effective and reliable method of identification possible.

        Our government can help American Business out compete China with “Increased Sales”, “Speeding Up Lines”, “Freeing up Staff” and what our government really wants is “Comprehensive/Accurate Reporting” by allowing on RFID/Biometric POS (Point of Sale) transactions!

        Imagine how safe and securely we can tuck our children in at night, knowing Homeland Security can quash any national security risk or illegal immigrant by a click of a button! Microdrones can roam the sky innocuously monitoring everyone’s safety, making sure everyone is legal!

  8. mainecat says:

    ” Why don’t you just shove a leash up my ass? ” Demolition Man

  9. bobbo, atheists in charge could not make the church look any worse says:

    “You are Known.”

    …… with all the pro’s and con’s that go with it.

  10. AdmFubar says:

    now doesnt it worry you that corporations have better stuff than the military… come one… who do you really think is in charge??

    • noname says:

      What do you think “too big to fail” means? Who Pwn who? If free markets means nationalizing debt, privatizing profits, then who is in charge?

      Our military may have weapons but who pulls the trigger and tells them which U.S. commodities we will fight and die for?

  11. dcphill says:

    Holy cow, I covering my camera at the top of my monitor.
    Can’t hurt.

  12. orchidcup says:

    The EFF warns:

    “If you lose a credit card, you can cancel it and get a new one. If you lose a biometric, you’ve lost it for life. Any biometric system must be built to the highest levels of data security, including transmission that prevents interception, storage that prevents theft, and system-wide architecture to prevent both intrusion and compromise by corrupt or deceitful agents within the organization.

    “Vendors and scanner operators may say that they protect privacy in some way, perhaps by hashing the biometric data or designing the database to enforce a privacy policy. But the end user typically has no way to verify whether such technical protections are effective or implemented properly,” continues the EFF’s warning. “End-users should be able to verify any such claims, and to leave the system completely if they are not satisfied. Exiting the system, of course, should at least include the expungment of the end-user’s biometric data and records.”

    Once your face and associated info is in a corporate database, the info and your identity can be hacked or stolen in a security breach. The corporation owns your info. You are trusting them to keep your private information safe. You are trusting them not to leave a laptop in the back seat of a car.

  13. Uncle Patso says:

    The occupycorporatism.org article is so poorly written that the information content is near zero. I don’t know who “Susanne Posel” is, but my trust level in her “reporting” is similarly near zero. Similarly, Naomi Wolf, author of the Guardian blog post, is a known alarmist muckraker who folds her conclusions into her “reporting.”

    I’m not saying none of their conclusions are correct — it is completely within the bounds of probability — but if these articles were the only sources of these allegations, I wouldn’t believe a word of it.

    Just one example:

    “Through the Freedom of Information Act, the Disney Corporation hands over to the DOD all data on their customers.”

    What? FOIA allows private citizens (& companies) to get information from governmental organizations, not the other way around.

    This is the kind of sloppy thinking and writing that cries out “Caution! Wing Nut At Large! Huge grain of salt recommended!”

    • noname says:

      Uncle Patso if you say it’s a lie, then we can have 100% certainty it’s a lie.

      Our government would never spy on us after all we are Americans with rights!

      No tin-foil hat needed here.


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