Citizens asked to trade their privacy for free WiF...

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Citizens asked to trade their privacy for free WiFi


The UK city of York plans to roll out, citywide, the sweet, sweet candy of free Wi-Fi.


All you have to do to get it is to roll over and expose your personal data's tender underbelly.

After that, just sit back, buckle up, and let the marketing blitz begin!


In an interview with the BBC, Roy Grant, CIO for the City of York Council, said that the free service has only been up and running for a few weeks, but already, his team can discern such choice data nuggets as:


  • Who's using the Wi-Fi;
  • Where they're coming from, in terms of origin; and
  • Where they're going.

Businesses are already getting a better insight into footfall, he said - as in, how much time do you and your MAC address-leaking mobile phone spend in front of discounted tube socks, for example, and do you or do you not head to the gym shortly thereafter?

MAC addresses - or Media Access Control addresses - are unique, factory-set IDs in devices that connect to networks.

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