Privacy concerns nix plan for free Wi-Fi kiosks in Seattle

The city of Seattle has terminated its discussion with Intersection to provide free Wi-Fi kiosks and digital makeovers of bus stops due to privacy concerns, according to Geekwire. Intersection had offered to pay the city between $97 million and $167 million over 20 years in exchange for rights to operate its Link kiosks at the bus stops. The company also would have paid the city a share of the revenue from ads on both the kiosks and bus stops, estimated at $100 million or more over 20 years.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan expressed concerns about privacy — what data was to be collected, how it was to be tracked and how ads would be targeted.

Privacy issues previously had emerged in New York City, one of the cities where Intersection already operates free Wi-Fi kiosks.

The New York Civil Liberties Union sent a letter to the city last year questioning the legality of the company's data collection practices. As a result, Intersection stopped collecting information about the websites users visited when logged onto free Wi-Fi.

A company spokesperson was hopeful that negotiations would resume.


Topics: Customer Experience, Government, Interactive / Touchscreen, Networking / Connectivity, Wayfinding / Information


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