Previous posts about LinkNYC, the city's new network of [free] Wi-Fi hubs, drew a few privacy concerns from readers.
Last week, the New York Civil Liberties Union shared their own privacy concerns with Mayor de Blasio, who officially launched the network on Feb. 18. Here's part of the NYCLU news release:
LinkNYC ... will eventually become a network of as many as 7,500 to 10,000 public kiosks offering fast and free Wi-Fi throughout all five boroughs. The sheer volume of information gathered by this powerful network will create a massive database of information that will present attractive opportunities for hackers and for law enforcement surveillance, and will carry an undue risk of abuse, misuse and unauthorized access.
“Internet access is not a choice, it’s a modern-life necessity,” said Mariko Hirose, senior staff attorney at the NYCLU. “The city’s public Wi-Fi network should set the bar for privacy and security to help ensure that New Yorkers do not have to sacrifice their rights and freedoms to sign online.”
However, LinkNYC and city spokespeople offered their reassurances to The Huffington Post:
Jen Hensley, general manager of LinkNYC, told The Huffington Post that the company would never sell a user’s private information and that law enforcement doesn’t have unfettered access to the data.
“CityBridge would require a subpoena or similar lawful request before sharing any data with the NYPD or law enforcement, and we will make every effort to communicate government requests to impacted users,” Hensley said.
And Natalie Grybauskas, a spokeswoman for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, told HuffPost there are privacy protections in place on the public Wi-Fi system.
“New York City and CityBridge have created customer-first privacy protections to ensure our users’ personal information stays that way — personal,” Grybauskas said.
Ayyway, we learned about all this in an article at The Next Web from Tuesday titled New York has just opened a massive public spying network.
H/T Dr. Bop!