Friday, July 14, 2017

People agree to a toilet cleaning clause as they tap into venue wifi | UNLIMITED | CMU


A company that provides free wifi at numerous bars, shopping centres, hotels, airports, theatres, arena venues and stadiums has revealed that when it added a ‘community service clause’ into its terms and conditions, nobody really noticed.

Wifi firm Purple added the clause – via which people opting into its internet service committed to “clean portable lavatories at local festivals and events”, “manually relieve sewer blockages” and “paint snail shells to brighten up their existence” – for two weeks.

The point of the exercise was to show that people never really read the small print when grabbing free net access, and are therefore unaware of any data they may be giving up to the company who is actually supplying the internet.

The company revealed the ‘community service clause’ experiment as it announced it was the first wifi provider to be compliant with the new General Data Protection Regulation in Europe, which goes into full effect next May and will put new rules in place with regard to the data net providers gather.

Says Purple CEO Gavin Wheeldon: “Wifi users need to read terms when they sign up to access a network. What are they agreeing to, how much data are they sharing, and what licence are they giving to providers? Our experiment shows it’s all too easy to tick a box and consent to something unfair”.

He added: “We welcome the strengthening of data protection laws across Europe that GDPR will bring. Not only will it give wifi end users more control over how their personal data is being used by companies, it will also raise the level of trust in the digital economy”.

During the ‘community service clause’ experiment users were actually given the chance to flag the unreasonable condition in return for a prize. But only one person did. Which constitutes 0.000045% of all the people using Purple’s wifi networks during the two week period. Well done if you’re in the 0.000045%.


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