Using Public Wi-Fi in New York
we have often warned people about using public wi-fi but had always assumed that LinkNYC was safe as provided by the City who are usually pretty aware of the need for online privacy.
However the New York Civil Liberties Union (who state they are a foremost defenders of civil rights and liberties) has pointed out that LinkNYC keeps the personal data of anyone connecting to it. Massive databases are being kept for unknown periods – all possibly open to being breached and used by law enforcement perhaps unwarranted.
It has been argued that people should expect public networks are not private but as more and more people use the service expectations will rise. LinkNYC do state they would never sell the data and require a subpoena or similar before allowing access. A City spokesperson has stated “New York City and CityBridge have created customer-first privacy protections to ensure our users’ personal information stays that way — personal,”. However please remember that free does not guarantee safe or indeed other strings being attached. If privacy is important to you – at this point perhaps unwise to use – though as stated previously that may change. Online Privacy in New York