The interview was conducted by Clark Buckner from TechnologyAdvice.com (they provide expert comparisons on data analytics software, data visualization platforms, data wharehousing solutions and much more). Also, be sure to check out their technology calendar of conferences. Listen to the full interview here.
General Datatech Senior Wireless Engineer Ryan Adzima discussed the pros and cons of Social WiFi with TechnologyAdvice’s Clark Buckner. As a first-time presenter at the 2014 Interop Conference in New York on “The Social Wi-Fi Goldmine: Should You Be Digging?,” Adzima offers an insider’s look on this growing trend that could have both positive and negative ramifications for the general public looking to log on and connect to the cloud.
General Datatech delivers advanced technology solutions with high value to service providers and businesses across the United States.
Social WiFi is free access to an Internet connection in exchange for access to an end user’s social media profile information, whether on Facebook, Twitter, or other social networks. The end user receives a free connection while the company serving up Social WiFi receives further customer information.
Adzima’s presentation will focus on basic questions that people currently have about Social WiFi:
- Where, why, and how is Social WiFi being used?
- What Social WiFi solutions are recommended?
- What Social WiFi solutions are secure?
- How does a company leverage Social WiFi for better customer information?
According to Adzima, Social WiFi is still a nascent solution that only started being seriously used in 2013 when AirTight Networks debuted its use at a Wireless Field Day event.
The Pros and Cons of Social WiFi
Benefits and drawbacks exist for both the company providing Social WiFi as well as the consumer. Some benefits include:
- Better, deeper customer information: Companies can glean more information from a consumer’s single click than they might through a variety of other more time-consuming means.
- Quick connections: Consumers can get online quickly and for free, and by giving up information they may have already provided to many other companies and websites (i.e. social login websites).
Some drawbacks include:
- Privacy worries: As notable companies suffer hacking attacks, general consumers have become more wary in giving up access to their information online.
- Information permanence: Granting one-time access to a social media profile often grants that company ongoing access. Even if it isn’t ongoing, the information they pull becomes part of an end user’s permanent record, so to speak.
- Invasive data requests: In an effort to seek keenly targeted markets, some companies may ask for too much information, like a maiden name. For Adzima, there’s a fine line between asking for relevant information and being invasive.
- Data resellers: Companies can resell a user’s data without their knowledge, especially when a majority of end users don’t read the Terms of Service associated with a Social WiFi connection.
Two Quick Tips for Using Social WiFi
While Adzima believes consumers are ultimately responsible for how they share their information, he also thinks that companies who provide Social WiFi should do more in terms of educating the public about what, exactly, they’re giving up in return for an Internet connection. Adzima even suggests that providers should work to protect their consumers through a united initiative.
In the meantime, Adzima advises Social WiFi users to consider these two strategies when opting in to a Social WiFi network:
1. Create a fake social account: Create a dummy social media account just to use the Social WiFi network. That way, one’s personal information isn’t sent along to the company.
2. Read the Terms of Service: Even if they can’t do it immediately, a user should always read a company’s Terms of Service and bring up any questions they may have with someone who can help answer those questions.
Lastly, Adzima sees the future of Social WiFi as an area that’s apt to change quickly as more and more people begin to use it and understand exactly what they’re giving up in return for an Internet connection.