Games are fun. I enjoy family game night at the Ski Pass Defender household and picking a few of the games which we’ve collected over the years. At the end of the night the member of the family with the most wins gets a medal presented by last week’s winner. Participation is strongly encouraged and sometimes incentivized, but not demanded. If a member of the family wants to opt-out of the games they are allowed to do so.
When a person is strong-armed into participating and given no choice they become resentful. But what if they are being manipulated into play the game? The person incentivizing must offer something of value to the gamer. Playing games can be fun and entertaining. But what if you found out that you are being manipulated, gamed? Would you feel so good about it then? Perhaps, or perhaps NOT. What if you found out that you could not opt-out? What if you found out that all your data was compiled, used, sold or traded? Regardless to whether you had access to it or not. Some people care, some don’t. Either way, I believe it should be the gamer’s choice.
This year there will be more than 1000 Resorts using RFID enabled ski passes to access their lifts. The vast majority are basic systems of lift entry that keep user information anonymous. Some include RFID payment systems, which are not anonymous. There is a growing trend of Harvesting and aggregating (non-anonymous) data. Some areas such as the Vail Resorts have incentive and tracking programs such as EpicMix in which you can win digital “pins” as you reach certain achievements. For some people that enhances the ski and ride experience, for many others it makes no difference, and the vast majority don’t even know about it. Yet, whether you know about it or not ALL skiers and riders are being tracked and cataloged around the mountain. And most areas using RFID have some time type of data storage systems for their “gamers”. When getting your pass with your name and info attached to it, check to see which “Resort Partners” will also gain assess to your information. Pay special attention to resorts with affiliations with Insurance companies and Financial Services companies. Your information WILL be aggregated and compiled into a digital dossier. This is no longer just science fiction.
We at Ski Pass Defender saw this trend starting more than 5 years ago. We wanted to enable the skiers and riders to be able to control how much information and access to their payment information accessible via the unsecured technology that is RFID. Simply sliding your pass into the Ski Pass Defender allows you to open your pass for reading or block it so that others cannot access it. It is simple, lightweight, and effective. You can still participate in incentive programs as you wish. Yet have security from skimming, scamming, and scanning of your information.
So as you watch the above videos the trends are toward more Gaming of the people. Once educated, then make informed decisions and maintain control of your personal information.