The American Civil Liberties Union became the latest group to criticize a city-wide network San Francisco has proposed building with EarthLink and Google, arguing that the deal would compromise user privacy.
In a letter sent to members of San Francisco's Board of Supervisors, an official with the Northern California chapter of the ACLU said the group is "very concerned that the final municipal wireless contract with Google and EarthLink does not include adequate safeguards for privacy and free speech." Topping their concerns, were plans by Google and EarthLink to gather information about users in order to recoup costs of the service, some of which will be delivered for free.
"The business model of a municipal wireless system should not include tracking and profiling user activities in order to sell or trade data or develop targeted advertising based on user information and online activities," an attachment to the letter argued. "Such a business model creates an incentive to collect as much data about an individual and maintain it for as long as possible in order to create profiles about users."[MORE]