Friday, June 25, 2010

Would You Give up Your Credit Card Number for an Hour of Free Wireless?

  • Cool: The City of Minneapolis has city-wide WiFi.
  • Cooler: The City of Minneapolis is offering free WiFi hotspots at selected spots in the city.
  • Coolest: It works.
  • Uncool: To use the free hot spots, you have to surrender a credit card number.

Would you give up a CC number just to get free WiFi?

  • This probably isn’t any worse that handing your card to a waiter at a restaurant.
  • I don’t know what else one could request that would provide a bit of verification of a users identity. A drivers license?
  • One could simply decide to not care who uses the free hotspots. Our big brothers at the University don’t. They offer free guest wireless with only an e-mail address. For them, is an e-mail address.
  • It’s entirely possible that the vendor that built and owns the the network is PCI-DSS SAQ-whatever compliant.

I don’t think that I’d give up a card number just to get free WiFi.

I will assert though, that most people will.


  1. As long as the prefix is valid and it passes the Luhn check, right? woot! :D

  2. It's not justifiable given the various wi-fi hotspots readily available everywhere.