According to the New York Times, the “must-have accessory” at the 2018 World Cup is a “passport-sized badge of honor” required by fans to enter stadiums, as well as access discounts and free transportation. For Timothy Edgar, an academic director at the Brown University Executive Master in Cybersecurity (EMCS) program, these trackable devices also raise concerns about privacy in a country that has been a base for international hackers.
The badge, called a Fan ID, is an innovation introduced at the World Cup for the first time and is almost as valuable as a ticket. No fan can get into a World Cup stadium without one. It also grants access to perks like visa-free entry into Russia, free transport in and occasionally between host cities and discounts in certain shops and restaurants. As quoted in this New York Times article, Edgar states,
It’s part of a surveillance economy where you are offered something that sounds enticing, like going to a sporting event without hassle and some freebies, in exchange for valuable personal information… Russia should destroy the information as soon as the tournament is over… Once the need for the data has gone away, they should do that, because potentially it could be subject to leaking or loss.
To read the rest of the article, The World Cup’s Hot New Accessory Comes With a Few Questions.