By Stephanie Kinch, Wi-Fi NOW Staff Writer
Purple, a UK-based public Wi-Fi provider and software vendor, did a social experiment to see how many of their customers actually read their terms and conditions. The answer? Not too many. More than 22,000 people (presumably) unwittingly signed up to do 1,000 hours of community service in exchange for free Wi-Fi.
The terms stated: “The user may be required, at Purple’s discretion, to carry out 1,000 hours of community service. This may include the following: Cleansing local parks of animal waste. Providing hugs to stray cats and dogs. Manually relieving sewer blockages. Cleaning portable lavatories at local festivals and events. Painting snail shells to brighten up their existence. Scraping chewing gum off the streets.”
“Wi-Fi users need to read terms when they sign up to access a network. What are they agreeing to, how much data are they sharing, and what license are they giving to providers? Our experiment shows it’s all too easy to tick a box and consent to something unfair,” says Gavin Wheeldon, CEO of Purple.