MANCHESTER, England, July 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
22,000 people agreed to carry out 1,000 hours of community service in return for free WiFi.
Purple , the intelligent spaces company, added the term to the T&Cs on its own network of branded hotspots to illustrate the lack of consumer awareness of what they are signing up to when they access free WiFi.
(Photo: http://mma.prnewswire.com/media/535324/Purple_GDPR_Compliance_Portaloo_Pic.jpg )
(Photo: http://mma.prnewswire.com/media/535325/Purple_GDPR_compliance_Terms_overview.jpg )
(Photo: http://mma.prnewswire.com/media/535326/Purple_GDPR_Compliance_Welcome_screen.jpg )
Hidden among Purple's usual terms and conditions for two weeks was the "Community Service Clause": The user may be 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
Purple is unlikely to call in the community service debt, but believes that the experiment underlines an important issue. Gavin Wheeldon, CEO of Purple, says, "WiFi 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."
Purple is announcing today that it is the first WiFi provider to be General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliant - almost a year ahead of the government's deadline.
This legislation, which comes into force on May 25th, 2018, has been hailed as the most important change in data privacy regulation in 20 years. It harmonises existing data privacy laws across Europe, and will reshape the way organisations approach data privacy.
Purple believes that one of GDPR's headline rulings, the introduction of 'unambiguous consent' before users' personal or behavioural data can be used for marketing purposes, is one that should be standardised across the industry now. Why wait for 2018?
Once the legislation is introduced, companies that breach consumers' rights will be fined up to 4% of revenue, or 20 million Euros, whichever is greatest.
Gavin Wheeldon says: "We welcome the strengthening of data protection laws across Europe that GDPR will bring.
"We have acted quickly to be the first WiFi provider to be fully GDPR compliant. Purple's Profile Portal means all end users know they can control how their data is being used."