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BizReport : Law & Regulation : December 18, 2013

Does your public Wi-Fi network comply with the law?

Cloud-based social Wi-Fi software firm, Purple WiFi, reveals that around two-thirds of venues that provide public Wi-Fi do not comply with laws surrounding the tracking of users.

by Helen Leggatt

Out of 3,349 venues worldwide, 2,048 were found to be running completely open Wi-Fi networks and handing out passwords, according to the survey by UK-based Purple WiFi.

The law in the UK requires that venues providing free Wi-Fi to customers are able to track back activity to a user yet six out of ten do not, leaving networks open to use and abuse by criminals and terrorists.

The vast majority (82%) of survey participants believed their public Wi-Fi offering complied with the law, yet only around 40% actually did.

''Having an open network, giving out a password or any other method of access that doesn't achieve this fundamental tracking function could land the business in considerable trouble if illegal activity takes place on the public Wi-Fi it provides", says Gavin Wheeldon, chief executive of Purple WiFi.

Furthermore, more than half (58%) of venues did not support content filtering, or were not aware if their network did. A lack of content filtering means illegal or explicit websites could be access through the public Wi-Fi network.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: law and regulation, mobile marketing, public Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi

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