Purple WiFi in the City of York

What is the service provided?

Purple WiFi in the City of York

A super fast and free WiFi service has launched in key areas of the City of York, including the strategic transport hubs, enabling better connectivity for residents and visitors alike. The service is secure, legal and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The WiFi is content filtered so as to be family friendly.

What data gets collected and how is it stored?

As part of the CityConnect WiFi network terms and conditions and privacy policy, users that register and log in to the WiFi service agree to sharing a limited amount of basic user profile details. The user profile details will come from their selected login choice – Form, Twitter, Facebook etc. Once logged in, there is a legal requirement to capture details of the user and device information. More detail on the legalities of providing WiFi in the EU here. All the data gathered and stored is held in accordance with UK legislation and fully complies with the Data Protection Act.

What are the benefits for users?

Connecting to free public WiFi while in a city means that you can reduce data usage costs, as you won’t need to use 3G or 4G networks for internet access on the move. The WiFi provision in York is completely free, secure, on 24/7 and even supports streaming services like BBC iPlayer. You’ll be able to catch up with emails, update your social networks, enjoy browsing and access helpful information about exploring the City of York.

Also in planning is to be able to provide residents and visitors with helpful information and relevant offers via the WiFi service. So for example, a first time visitor might receive an offer for discounted entry to the city’s tourist attractions, whilst a regular user could be informed about the latest community events being held in the city centre.

Can people opt out of receiving email communications?

Yes. Customers can opt out of any email communications they might receive at any time by clicking ‘unsubscribe’ at the bottom of the email. Full terms and conditions and privacy statements are available to view during the login process.

Can devices be seen on the system before they log in?

No. The City of York are not running Purple WiFi ‘Presence Analytics’ and therefore have no way to view residents or visitors devices, MAC addresses, or general movements until they log in to the free WiFi and provide their consent.

Who’s involved?

The City of York granted their partner Pinacl Solutions the “WiFi concession” for the City of York, an exercise approved by BDUK. The formal contract runs for at least five years and Pinacl have agreed to abide by certain terms as part of this agreement, e.g. providing WiFi that operates in line with legislation for data protection and privacy.

Pinacl Solutions have installed the guest and social WiFi solution in key areas of the city, but once the rollout is complete across the whole city it will be using 150 Ruckus Wireless ZoneFlex access points. The scheme is funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), as part of York’s status as one of 22 SuperConnected Cities

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