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Do You Trust Facebook's Free Wi-Fi?

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is one of the targets of a Pakistani criminal investigation under a law that makes criticizing the Prophet Muhammad punishable by death.

    Facebook is offering free Wi-Fi in exchange for checking in at a business, but doesn't that mean users are giving away a lot of their data for a wireless connection?

    The Wi-Fi is given when users check into a business, click an opt-out link and are granted wireless internet access, according to Wired. The idea came from a Facebook hackathon and first started as a small experiment in and around its Menlo Park headquarters. Apparently the free Wi-Fi is now in San Francisco and Palo Alto.
    The new service is rumored to be unveiled at a special June 20 event. Facebook sent around press invitations with a coffee stain circle, which said: "A small team has been working on a big idea. Join us for coffee and learn about a new product."
    Whether it's this project or not, the debate shouldn't be about if we should get free Wi-Fi, but that Facebook already is harvesting massive amounts of information on its users. So why would users want to give them more?
    It's been a process for Facebook to gain more information for advertisers. It started Facebook Home, an Android skin, which is capable of logging a user's every digital move online. It has been quietly harvesting loyalty card information, grocery store receipts and data from other retailers on its users to sell to advertisers. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has even been sharing more on his Facebook page, as if to encourage users to be more forthcoming.
    It's likely many will cave to free Wi-Fi and systematically update Facebook on their whereabouts. Expect the social network to log, bundle and sell that information.