LinkNYC is the new communications network that is going to replace telephone booths across the 5 boroughs of NYC; Emitting free Wi-Fi via kiosks called links . By chance you may have crossed paths with their signature blue kiosks scattered across Manhattan and Brooklyn, there will be about 10,000 kiosks so even if you have not, there will be a chance to see one. While it is free to use and connect to LinkNYC wifi, while connected you are paying in personal data, such as the websites you visit, how long you linger on said website and what you click on. The information itself is being stored in their database and often times your information is being retained indefinitely.
“Internet access is not a choice but a modern-life necessity” - Mirako Hirose (Senior staff attorney at the NYCLU)
These comments made by the New York Civil Liberties Union executive director Donna Lieberman. “New Yorker’s private online activities shouldn’t be used to create a massive database that’s within the ready grasp of the NYPD,” said Ms Lieberman. “Free public Wi-Fi can be an invaluable resource for this city, but New Yorkers need to know there are too many strings attached.”
Since the Edward Snowden & NSA fiasco it has grown increasingly harder for the American people to trust the government or in particular law enforcement.Especially with the addition of the Apple vs FBI argument over encryption, the talk of what should be used in the name of safety is being re-evaluated. So it is with no surprise that LinkNYC compiling of data has been raising concerns. We should all be more vigilant with what we sign up for and what we as a people allow to become our norm.
“The city’s public Wi-Fi network should set the bar for privacy and security to help ensure that New Yorkers do not have to sacrifice their rights and freedoms” - Mirako Hirose