Biometrics Versus Amusement Park Ticket Fraud

In order to cut down on fraud, a Six Flags amusement park in Montreal, Quebec – Six Flags LaRonde – has begun to use fingerprint biometrics tying season-pass holders to their tickets.

As is the case with many new biometric deployments facing the public, this is being met with friction from amusement park goers and the mainstream media. Six Flags LaRonde maintains that the deployment exists only to cut down the lineups and prevent pass-holders from sharing tickets, but the scary monster of privacy concerns has reared its head.

CJAD 800, a local radio station reported on its website that much of the backlash has to do with fear that the information being gathered might be compromised or misused.

Representatives from Six Flags are confident that the deployment is in the clear, demonstrating  a clear understanding of how biometric technology is used in this kind of situation.

“We’re not talking about fingerprints, but a finger scan to identify points on your finger that will generate a mathematical formula,” Jules Hébert, a spokesperson for La Ronde explained. “The formula will be saved on local servers. The way it’s encrypted, the data can’t be used for any purpose other than identifying season-pass holders.”

Though the coast seems to be clear for Six Flags in Canada, this privacy scare is not just some outlier. Biometrics are still seem very new, futuristic and in many cases threatening to the average person. From media explosions declaring the iPhone 5S as a privacy concern to a general misunderstanding that a wood glue spoof is a security threat to biometrics on the same level as Brute Force is to passwords.

This recently came to a head with a law in Florida banning the collection of student biometrics throughout the state.

With the increase in this kind of biometric confusion and panic, it is becoming very clear that education on the topic is growing in importance as identity management solutions become increasingly pervasive.

May 22, 2014 – by Peter B. Counter