New York City has a new program launched in February called Link NYC, that aims to bring free, fast wireless service to the city’s millions of residents. LinkNYC is designed to be the fastest and most wide-reaching such project in the country when it expands to cover the whole city in the next 10 years.The system takes advantage of the infrastructure behind New York’s now-outdated pay phones. Touchscreen kiosks are sprouting up where the iconic phones used to be. The kiosks function as public Internet terminals, free Internet phones, and access points for the citywide wi-fi network.
Both networks require users to input an email address to connect, but for now, only new Apple devices can access the private network. Those who can’t afford broadband access would be most likely to take advantage of a fast, free option for Internet access like LinkNYC.
A spokesperson for LinkNYC says ,detailed browsing information is gathered only on people who are surfing the web on public Link kiosks stationed on city sidewalks. Two pieces of information is gathered on its users: An email address (which is never verified) and a MAC address, a unique string of letters and numbers that identifies Internet-connected devices. Which is seemingly less personal information than what traditional Internet service providers and telecom services collect.