Free Wi-Fi. Everyone wants it, but we all know that it’s not really free. What we gain in free internet access, we give up in privacy. Look no further than the recently announced agreement between Google & New York City. As reported on The Next Web:
According to the New York Civil Liberties Union, the Ts & Cs on signing up require you to turn over your email and then submit browsing data, as well as information about the specific content you read and what stuff you click on.
As identified by the NYCLU, CityBridge says it’ll only make “reasonable efforts” to clear out your data if it sees 12 months of inactivity on the network, so if you’re a regular user, you could be signing up to being stalked for life.
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In a public-private partnership, up to 10,000 kiosks will be equipped with 5gb Wi-Fi tablets that can be used to surf the web or make phone calls. There will even be USB charging ports for a quick recharge while you take in the Big Apple. Here is a nice infographic of NYCLink’s feature set:
This Wi-Fi network is being paid for by advertisers, which could generate up to $500 million for the city. It may not be spy tech in the traditional sense, but this partnership certainly looks like it could be the first of many in a multi-billion dollar industry revolving around consumer information and public convenience.