Facebook Wi-Fi – because why the hell not?

News to me, probably old news to you as this has been around since June it appears.

TL;DR – there’s a thing Facebook did

Should note I’m writing this now as I’ve been contacted by FB to set this up at my business (not Pocketables, one of the other six million places I work).

Facebook Wi-Fi is rolling out to a store near you (or has already,) allowing users to seamlessly connect anywhere Big Meta has access to. The concept is not particularly new, ISPs have been doing this for a while, but it does serve Facebook/Meta a significantly more trackable you as your phone could be connecting to any and every Facebook Wi-Fi it passes without thinking about it.

This means if you’ve denied Facebook location access and use that WiFi, they’ll now know where you’re at. It’s being advertised to businesses as a way to increase checkins, and honestly it’s not a terrible idea, just being done by a company with a terrible track history of privacy violations. I would assume they’re also capable of scraping the MAC addresses of people passing by, although with MAC Randomization being the norm these days you’d need something else to tie them together.

Facebook WiFi
Wait, so you really all laugh while alone eating salad?
Questions that can be answered over Facebook Wi-Fi

On the plus side – people can be connected instantly, which should help with payment processing, looking up menus, seeing if the better coffee shop 6 stores away is busy while you wait in the line. Stores are also included in a WiFi FB list so people can know that you have WiFi that’s not going to bug them for a password.

On the down side I’d worry that it’s cloneable and vulnerable to a man in the middle attack.

Eh, it’s a thing.

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts

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