Facebook data access plans dropped by Australian sports event

Officials had planned to collect Facebook data from Australia's Commonwealth Games visitors by offering high-speed Wi-Fi that taps the social media site.

Aloysius Low Senior Editor
Aloysius Low is a Senior Editor at CNET covering mobile and Asia. Based in Singapore, he loves playing Dota 2 when he can spare the time and is also the owner-minion of two adorable cats.
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Visitors to the upcoming 2018 Commonwealth Games, held in the Gold Coast, Australia this April, would have been able to get high-speed Wi-Fi access. That is, for a price: Facebook data of their age, gender and nationality.

But it seems that plan has now been shelved.

City council officials had originally wanted visitors to sign in using their Facebook account, the data from which would help them track where visitors were hailing from, reported Australia's ABC.

The change of mind comes as Facebook cops tremendous backlash over the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which data from over 50 million accounts was obtained and used without permission by digital consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg finally apologised earlier Wednesday, while also promising to better safeguard its users in a post on the social media site.

A Gold Coast city councillor told the ABC that the decision came in reaction to the scandal, and that the council would wait to see how Facebook addresses the privacy issues before deciding if it would again be using Facebook for the login process.