S.F. wants privacy on Google-EarthLink Wi-Fi network

San Francisco officials have already chosen a proposal from Google and EarthLink to provide a wireless network throughout the city, but that doesn't mean they can't ask for caveats during negotiations on the details. City officials say they will ask the companies to give people a choice of whether they want to share personal information or not, according to an IDG News Service article on Monday.

"In negotiations with the companies, expected to begin soon, the city will seek an 'opt-in' system for users to share personal information, notification of users when there are legal requests for their information and a commitment from the operators on how long they will keep user data they collect, said Brian Roberts, a senior policy analyst for the city's Policy, Planning and Compliance Division. He spoke at the latest hearing by the Local Agency Formation Committee, a utilities oversight body for the combined city and county of San Francisco," the article said.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation and other privacy advocates have complained about the lack of privacy protections in the Google-EarthLink proposal.

Google representatives were not available to comment late on Monday.

Meanwhile, San Francisco is studying the option of eventually offering broadband over fiber to every home, according to the article.

Tech Culture
About the author

Elinor Mills covers Internet security and privacy. She joined CNET News in 2005 after working as a foreign correspondent for Reuters in Portugal and writing for The Industry Standard, the IDG News Service, and the Associated Press. E-mail Elinor.


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