Jan 052011
 
 January 5, 2011  Business, Non-U.S.

A Calgarian who is a frequent air traveller wants to know why he should provide personal information to use Wi-Fi at the airport.

One of the options for logging on to the Wi-Fi network at the Calgary International Airport involves hooking up through Facebook. Users hooking up through Facebook must agree to provide access to the personal information on their Facebook accounts.

The report says that that is “one of the options.” What are the other options for logging on to Wi-Fi?

It sounds like this may be the old, “If you want a free service, you have to let us have access to your personal information” scenarios. But what does Boldstreet Wireless, the provider, actually do with the data?

Boldstreet said users’ information is safe.

President and CEO Tom Camps said the company provides the airport with a demographic breakdown of who is using the service.

“But never, and I can say never, is any sort of individually identifiable information made available to anybody else, ever,” Camps said.

But Camps couldn’t say for sure whether Facebook gives Boldstreet users’ personal information and the company extracts the demographics from that data, or whether Facebook just gives Boldstreet the demographics.

And why does the airport need demographics on who’s using Wi-Fi, anyway?

And for how long does Boldstreet retain the data that they collect?

Read more on CBC News. And do look into other options. This doesn’t sound privacy-centric.

Thanks to the reader who sent in this link.

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