Is Disney on Track to Provide Permissioned Internet Access?
The internet is a great place to find all kinds of information and content. Not all of this information is suitable for all ages, which is why Disney wants to try to block certain aspects. Its device and software are designed to ban all porn content while still letting users surf the Internet without any problems.
One has to keep in mind the vision of Disney is rather child-friendly first and foremost. Translating that idea to a technology-oriented project and environment is not necessarily all that easy. Even so, the company is building an ecosystem known as Circle, which will effectively remove all access to adult entertainment from the internet browsing experience.
This filtering platform comes at a cost of $35 – for the standalone device – or up to $300 for the service embedded in higher-end routers. Rather than relying on an internal database to block access to specific websites and platforms, the filtering now occurs through a very different solution. The accompanying application for Circle needs to be managed by the end-user, which is available for both Android and iOS at this time.
Through the application, users can determine which types of content they want to block. All devices connected to the Circle IoT device or the in-house solution will not be able to access that specific type of internet content. While it is not as convenient to use compared to a regular web interface managed through a computer, the mobile application seems to check the right boxes for most users.
Interestingly enough, Disney’s creation will let users set up different profiles for family members, visitors, and so forth. That in itself is an interesting take on things, although it will be interesting to see how different user accounts can be abused accordingly. After all, this type of setup will effectively tempt users to try and game the system in one way or another.
While there are still some issues to work out accordingly, it seems Disney’s Circle is on the right track to deliver on the initial promise. It is not overly complicated to identify devices connecting to the network based on their BSSID, there are some users who will struggle in that regard. From a convenience point of view, things could always be better, but it is a small price to pay for being able to restrict users from accessing specific types of information.
For the time being, it is still too early to draw any real conclusions as to whether or not Disney can effectively provide the restrictions most consumers are looking for. Although some of the initial reviews seem to offer a mixed bag of results, one has to applaud any effort being made in this regard. Whether or not purposefully walled-off internet access is a good thing, is a different matter altogether.