Spectators Tracked via RFID

The police state is coming! (said only slightly sarcastically)

Among the biggest changes expected at the Memorial is tracking the whereabouts of fans. While there will be fewer spectators allowed on tournament grounds — ticket sales have purposefully been slowed to keep from over-populating — each spectator badge (and the badges of tournament staff/volunteers) will have within it an RFID tag. “At any time we can know, around the golf course, how many people are collecting in a certain area,” Sullivan said.

I’m not so sure I’m down with that. There are less personally identifying ways to “tell how many people are in a certain area,” especially when you have an army of staff/volunteers/etc.

Are the badges linked to an individual or is it anonymized to just show congregation points, etc?

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They’re probably not tracking specific people right now - maybe every weekly pass gets the same “number,” but it’s one small step away from that: RFID tags with unique information.

And for media badges, maybe volunteers or staff, etc. it wouldn’t surprise me if they are going to be tracked already.

I’m not a conspiracy theorist or anything, but once you give up a little ground re: your privacy, organizations will keep taking more and more. The best we can do is to slow things down, and this isn’t an example of slowing things down.

I’m pretty fine with this. As long as they are making people aware that is what they are doing, fans can choose to go or not go. We are going to be doing this at work at certain job sites in the next little bit, which I think is a bit more of a grey area, because workers don’t really get a choice in that case


First Google result:

Benjamin Franklin once said: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” That quote often comes up in the context of new technology and concerns about government surveillance.

IMO it’s not enough to “give people a choice.” It’s a choice between two “bad” things (as compared to before).


If you have a phone on you it’s likely already sending out a beacon. Disney and department stores have been doing this for years.


I don’t disagree with this, but I’ll add that I think a lot of people have given up more than they realize already.

For those of us with a Facebook profile, have you seen that thing you can find if you navigate through the menus that says what Facebook has gathered about you? It’s extremely creepy.

Bud just don’t go to a golf tournament if you’re that scared of big brother knowing which hole you’re sitting at.


My first thought is I wouldn’t be that concerned. Upon reflection, if the Tour uses the data to determine the optimal sport to put next year’s Fortnite tent, it can go pound sand.

You don’t have a constitutional right to attend a golf tournament so there are precisely zero liberties at stake here. This is a phenomenal solution because it cuts down on the number of volunteers that need to be present and, as pointed out before, is relatively anonymous. If you think this is a violation, you should see the information that your credit card and phone companies have on your travel habits.


You can turn that off.

Bad choice. Ben Franklin would wag his finger at you.

I disagree @RobertHunter that this isn’t a “liberty.” I believe I have a right to move about without being tracked in certain situations.

And FWIW I’m just playing devil’s advocate here, or a bit of a theoretical thing, even though this is a real thing. I’m generally against the erosion of privacy.

-Benjamin Franklin
-Michael Scott



Also, just from a golf fan’s perspective, what happens when (insert popular player’s name here) is walking up the 18th hole on Sunday with a one-shot lead? Can fans just not watch that?

Do you drive a car with a license plate? You’re being tracked.

Do you post photos taken from a phone with GPS capabilities to social media sites? You’re being tracked.

Do you walk around with that phone in your pocket with your WiFi enabled? You’re being tracked.

I could literally go on for hours. You’re being tracked. Saying that having a ticket badge at a golf tournament figure out what part of the course you’re on is somehow a violation of your civil liberties is more erosive of the concept of civil liberties than it is of any of your rights. Don’t want to attend an event because they’re using incredibly common security measures? Don’t go. Nobody is forcing you, and it’s not a right.


Yeah, who knows… If Tiger plays the Memorial, they’re going to constantly be having “too many fans” in an area. Are they actually going to have gated sections at the Memorial, with enforcement like at stores? Golf courses have more entry and exit points than stores do.

I think it’s a bad argument to say “Well, Facebook does it, and your credit cards to it, so why should you care about this?” Because it’s another brick in the wall. It’s something more being taken away. Bad argument, @RobertHunter, because I was not tracked at a golf tournament before and very soon I could be.

None of this is a hill on which I’m going to die, either. It just feels like it’s another step too far down a path I’d rather get down much more slowly. Sports reporters will tell you that once a certain kind of access is taken away, you almost never get it back. This “solution” likely isn’t temporary.

I mean… you don’t have a constitutional right to not be monitored on private property or at a private business. What do you think those cameras are doing at just about every store you enter?

I always find it ironic when conservative constitutional experts think the government should impose restrictions on how a private company wants to run its business.


You sure?


You aren’t being tracked in this scenario. Unlike your phone, it’s unlikely that the RFID associated with individual ticket badges would be able to ID individual people in a way that could be used for consumer purposes. It’s an anonymous system.

Also, you were absolutely tracked at golf tournaments before this.

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Yep. Not like this. If we were tracked before, they wouldn’t need to ADD this to track people.

You don’t know that. RFID can uniquely identify. Hence your use of the word “unlikely.”

And again, it’s another step. They’re not taking a DNA sample at every tee or green site, but it’s a step down the road of further erosion of privacy.