Alabama Using Tide Loyalty Points App to Track Fans and Penalize Them For Leaving Early
Students who leave Bryant-Denny Stadium early miss out on lucrative perks
According to a somewhat creepy report in The New York Times, Alabama is using an app to track fans who come to cheer on the Crimson Tide and monitor whether they leave games at Bryant-Denny Stadium early.
To do this, Alabama had its students install the Tide Loyalty Points app which rewards students for attending games and helps them earn perks like SEC championship game and College Football Playoff tickets. The app tracks students inside of the stadium and awards them 100 points for attending a home game and an additional 250 for staying until the fourth quarter.
According to the school, the app only tracks students once they are at the stadium and they can close the app or delete it when they leave.
Nevertheless, privacy watchdog groups find it alarming that a public university, which is theoretically an extension of the state government, would be using tracking software on students.
“Why should packing the stadium in the fourth quarter be the last time the government wants to know where students are?” asked Adam Schwartz, a lawyer for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “A public university is a teacher, telling students what is proper in a democratic society.”
An empty student section at the end of non-conference blowout wins against unranked teams has long been a pet peeve of Nick Saban so it certainly seems possible this program is related to that pain point for the longtime coach.
Last year, Saban said he was “disappointed” with the lack of cheering from the school’s student section.
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