Public Wi-Fi hotspot provider? Check out our solution for legal compliance

If you provide a public Wi-Fi hotspot as a service provider, you are legally responsible for what actions people take when they are connected to your network. Recently, this area has become regulated and further regulation is likely over the next couple of years.

Your hotspot could be a public venue Wi-Fi network for a restaurant or museum, a hospital or school, or a professional firm offering a courtesy Wi-Fi facility for reception visitors.

What are the worst-case scenarios? Someone in nearby premises could have hacked into your system and using your Wi-Fi for illegal file downloading. A visitor could be innocently using social media, after logging in, but infringing copyright. Someone with more ominous motives could be logged in and using your Wi-Fi network.

Penalties for non-compliance

Your organisation can now be fined up to £50,000 for allowing illegal or inappropriate downloading and file-sharing, as defined in the Digital Economy Act of 2010, in the UK at least.

Organisations that give out their Wi-Fi password are putting their network, and data, at risk. Ideally, you should provide a secure system for guest Wi-Fi separate from your own staff or business network.

Through Purple WiFi, Digital Supremo not only provides a secure login process and wireless environment but also separates business Wi-Fi from guest Wi-Fi, protecting your private network and EPOS (electronic point of sale) systems.

Digital Supremo provides packages that include a secure Wi-Fi network and legal compliance. Data retention complies with The Data Retention (EC Directive) Regulations 2009 and user tracking is accessed through a single click login through popular social media platforms

The ‘Friendly WiFi’ scheme

Friendly WiFi logo

The ‘Friendly WiFi’ scheme has been designed and developed in collaboration with the Registered Digital Institute and The UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS).

Child-friendly filtering is also included. The ‘Friendly WiFi’ scheme has been designed and developed in collaboration with the Registered Digital Institute and The UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS). The Government and UK’s main Wi-Fi providers support the initiative after concerns were raised that children and young people were being put at risk of viewing and accessing inappropriate material when using public Wi-Fi. The ‘Friendly WiFi’ icon has been created to ensure that organisations who offer their customers public Wi-Fi and who wish to join the scheme to become a ‘Friendly WiFi’ venue, have had their WiFi services verified to check that the correct filters are in place to block anyone from accessing inappropriate material.

Data protection

Public Wi-Fi providers need to be aware of their obligations under the Data Protection Act 1998, whenever personal data is collected or processed about individuals. Purple WiFi stores this data in line with the requirements of the Act and is registered with the Information Commissioners Office.

Data retention

The Data Retention (EC Directive) Regulations 2009 assists in the prevention and detection of organised crime and terrorism. It is best practice for Wi-Fi service providers to retain communications data. Our supplier, Purple WiFi, stores communications data in line with the requirements of the regulation on secure Amazon Web servers.

Illegal online activity

The Digital Economy Act 2010 (DEA) targets online copyright infringement by end users, covering illegal or inappropriate downloading and file-sharing. Digital Supremo helps you to provide evidence that you have taken steps to try to prevent copyright infringement: users have to both register and accept terms and conditions that cover

The Digital Economy Act 2010 (DEA)

The Digital Economy Act 2010 (DEA) targets online copyright infringement by end users, covering illegal or inappropriate downloading and file-sharing

appropriate use. In addition, our Premium Product provides content filtering.

Section 42 of the DEA amends sections 107 and 198 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA), which deal with infringing articles and illicit recordings respectively, to increase the maximum fine that may be imposed for these offences from the statutory maximum (£5,000 in England and Wales and £10,000 in Scotland) to £50,000.

This follows the recommendation of the Gowers Review of Intellectual Property, advising that penalties for online and physical copyright infringement should match.






Wi-Fi: what is it and how should it be written?

Wi-Fi – sometimes written WiFi or even wifi – is a local area network that uses high frequency radio signals to transmit and receive data over distances of 100 metres or so; it uses the Ethernet protocol. Wi-Fi allows an electronic device to use computer networks wirelessly and uses frequencies of 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.

Based on a quick Google search, it appears that most official sites use the terms WiFi or Wi-Fi interchangeably. With so much variation, wifi is a reasonable variation of Wi-Fi and most users understand the forms wifi, WiFi, Wi-Fi, and possibly even Wifi.

WFA_CERTIFIED_3D_Web_LRThe key to its use is that we are aiming towards being understood, not necessarily maintaining a trademark. If we wanted to maintaine trademarks, we wouldn’t use the generic term Blackberries instead of Blackberry mobile devices.

You should be aware that Wi-Fi is rarely used outside English-speaking areas: most countries refer to it as WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network). In German, the term WLAN is used exclusively and, in an English language context in continental Europe, there is a strong tendency towards using WLAN.

Wi-Fi is the wireless equivalent to the wired Ethernet network, the most common local area network (LAN) technology used in organisations and homes worldwide.

A Wi-Fi logo from the Wi-Fi Alliance certifies that network devices comply with the IEEE 802.11 standard. The Wi-Fi Alliance® is a global, non-profit, industry association. Its members are a worldwide network of companies that bring you the trademark Wi-Fi®.

From 2000 onwards, the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ seal of approval has designated products with proven interoperability, industry-standard security protection and the latest technology. The Wi-Fi Alliance has certified more than 23,000 products, delivering a consistent user experience and encouraging the expanding use of Wi-Fi products and services in new and established markets.

Today, billions of Wi-Fi products carry a significant portion of the world’s data traffic in an ever-expanding variety of applications. Wi-Fi is in 25 percent of homes around the world and about two billion Wi-Fi devices were sold in 2013. Wi-Fi adoption continues to grow and the widely-shared vision of connecting everyone and everything everywhere continues.

About 600 Wi-Fi Alliance member companies, from dozens of countries, are part of the organisation, driving new technologies and applications and certifying thousands of Wi-Fi products each year.