- By Derek Major
- Mar 28, 2016
New Yorkers who have seen the LinkNYC kiosks popping up on sidewalks may be excited about the idea of free Internet access, but they may appreciate the potential risks involved.
The New York chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has voiced concerns when it comes to the privacy policies for the kiosks, including the amount of information collected on users and how long that information is being stored by CityBridge, the company behind LinkNYC.
The ACLU said it believes that the amount of information gathered by the network will attract not only hackers who want to steal information, but also law enforcement agencies looking to track a citizen’s whereabouts.
“Free public Wi-Fi can be an invaluable resource for this city, but New Yorkers need to know there are too many strings attached,” NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman said.
The organization also expressed concern over notification policies in the event that the New York Police Department or another government entity wants access to a user’s private information. The current policy states that CityBridge “will take reasonable attempts to notify you of such a request, to the extent possible,” which the NYCLU says fails “provide any assurance to users that they will be notified of government requests for information.”
Derek Major is a former reporter for GCN.