#CyberFLASH: TTC allowing data collection of riders at subway stations

smartphone-2TORONTO — Free Wi-Fi may come at the cost of privacy for riders at TTC stations across Toronto. For the month of December, passengers who want to go online will have to do so using a Twitter account.

This grants Internet service provider BAI Canada access to riders’ tweets, personal information, and a list of their followers.

Privacy advocates say this isn’t a good direction for a publicly funded transit system.

“People tend to underestimate the value of privacy,” said Ann Cavoukian, Executive Director of Ryerson’s Privacy and Big Data Institute.

“I always tell both public sector and private sector companies, ‘You will be mistaken if you make that error,’ because increasingly, every survey shows this, the public is becoming much more distrustful of organizations that attempt to collect their identifiable data.”

The TTC says they are not forcing riders to use their service, and the current sign-in protocols are only for the month of December.

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