Attendees of this year's BlizzCon will need to download the AXS Mobile App in order to access the venue. Paper tickets, confirmation emails, screenshots, and photos of the QR code cannot be used, and fans' reactions to this have not pretty.
E-tickets must be used in order to prevent fraud. Blizzard has stated that there will be a Solution Desk at registration that will provide assistance in case anyone's phone has difficulty accessing the app. Unfortunately, the app itself engages in highly questionable activity, as it has been accused of stealing personal information from phones.
AXS is a digital marketing platform that allows you to purchase tickets for live events around the world. It is operated by Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) and is second only to Ticketmaster, which has issues of its own for its shady business practices.
Those who wish to attend BlizzCon must download AXS' app. Though the app is free, its Terms of Service reveal exactly what you are giving up:
In other words, you agree to provide your first and last name, location tracking, app use frequency, the content viewed in the app, ad receptiveness, completed and not completed purchases, your IP address, the device you use, your billing address, credit card information, phone number, and email, along with other information.
Instead of taking only what is necessary for the tickets, the AXS app scraps virtually all of the information that constitutes your online presence, which can then be sold to "partners." This is especially worrisome in an age in which identity theft runs rampant.
The Equifax scandal was only a short while ago and revolved around an organization that was responsible for ensuring the integrity and accuracy of personal credit history. If it could not be depended upon to do its due diligence, to what standards should we hold a company that is harvesting our data to sell to the highest bidder?
Will this mandatory app keep people away from BlizzCon? While some might be turned off, it's likely that most will still use the AXS app in order to attend the event, despite the obvious privacy issues.