Gold Coast council dumps plan to mine Facebook data from Commonwealth Games visitors using free wi-fi
The free wifi option available on the Gold Coast will no longer require a Facebook login. (ABC News: Elise Kinsella)
A plan to mine data from Commonwealth Games visitors who use free high speed wi-fi has been dumped by Gold Coast City Council a day after it was reported by the ABC.
Originally the council was going to require people to use their Facebook login if they wanted fast wi-fi.
Council told the ABC it would collect some data from users’ Facebook pages including their age, nationality and gender.
Mayor Tom Tate said council would use it to “monitor” where people came from.
But today Councillor Hermann Vorster told media the council now cannot trust Facebook.
“Like most people around the planet, we are shocked to learn Facebook can’t be responsible for its own data in the first place,” he said.
“So what council will do, while Facebook is getting its house in order, is ensure the feature is removed from the login screen.”
Cr Vorster said the decision to change the wi-fi login process was due to revelations about Facebook’s struggle to protect the data of its users.
“Only this morning Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, said publicly that he is working to understand what happened within Facebook,” he said.
“That revelation only came out this morning and council is acting immediately.”
Cr Voster said council will wait to see how Facebook addresses issues around privacy on its platform, before reconsidering using Facebook logins for its wi-fi.
“When they figure out what is going on, when they figure out how to protect their user data, we can possibly take another look at it,” he said.
The move coincides with Facebook facing massive falls to its market value over concerns about the social media platform’s role in data breaches.