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City of Boston wireless Wicked Free Wi-Fi privacy policy

Last updated: 10/4/16

City of Boston wireless Wicked Free Wi-Fi privacy policy

Your privacy is important to us. No registration, username, or password is required to use Wicked Free Wi-Fi.

Our Commitment To Privacy

We collect some information about you and your devices in order to optimize the Wi-Fi network functionality. We provide this notice so that you will know the information the City collects, how we use the information, and how we store the information, so that you can make an informed decision whether to use Wicked Free Wi-Fi. 

BY USING THE CITY OF BOSTON’S WICKED FREE WI-FI, YOU CONSENT TO THE PRACTICES DESCRIBED IN THIS PRIVACY POLICY. IF, FOR ANY REASON, YOU DO NOT CONSENT TO THESE PRACTICES, PLEASE DO NOT USE THE WICKED FREE WI-FI SERVICES.

Still have questions? Contact:
Innovation and Technology
1 City Hall Square
Room 703
Boston, MA 02201-2021
United States
Contact Wicked Free Wi-Fi

We welcome your feedback and questions. If you wish to contact us, please send an email to WickedFreeWiFi@boston.gov or call 311.

Information we may collect from you

The City of Boston collects certain technical information about the devices connected to the network.  The information the City collects from users includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • MAC address (media access control address associated with the device you use to access the Wi-Fi service)
  • IP address (Internet Protocol address)
  • device type and device identifiers
  • device operating system
  • location of access point your device connects to
  • date and time of connection to Wicked Free Wi-Fi
  • length of time connected to Wicked Free Wi-Fi access point
  • usage traffic volume by domain (download / upload), and
  • urls of blocked websites that you attempt to visit.

Some of this individual information about Wicked Free Wi-Fi usage is aggregated and maintained to help the City track usage patterns and maximize the availability and operation of the Wicked Free WiFi network.

We may collect and store data that you voluntarily send to us when contacting the City of Boston for support with Wicked Free Wi-Fi. For example, the contents of emails you voluntarily send to addresses in the @boston.gov domain will be stored. 

Information storage

The device specific information the City collects from your use of Wicked Free Wi-Fi is directly available to the City for the last thirty (30) days of your usage. Concurrently and thereafter, information is stored by the City’s contractor, Cisco Meraki, in accordance with their privacy policy.  See Cisco Meraki Privacy Policy link under the “Sharing Information” heading below.  Aggregated data that the City downloads is retained by the City indefinitely.

How we use information

The City does not collect information from Wicked Free Wi-Fi in order for the City to track an individual user’s location history or system usage over time or to provide targeted advertising, nor does the City store messages or the content of files that you send or receive while using Wicked Free Wi-Fi.

The City does collect information in order to:

  • track usage of the Wicked Free Wi-Fi network and adjust the system for best performance
  • optimize the location of Wicked Free Wi-Fi access points to maximize usage and performance
  • troubleshoot technical issues
  • track usage trends
  • maximize availability and performance for as many users as possible, and
  • create aggregate and anonymous data sets about the use of Wicked Free Wi-Fi services.

Sharing information

In order to provide Wicked Free Wi-Fi to users, the City uses a third-party service provider, Cisco Meraki, to support certain functions, including the management of access points and the collection of user device information.  This third party provider may have data collection and use procedures that differ from the City’s practices outlined in this Privacy Policy.  Please review these policies at the following link:  https://www.meraki.com/support/#policies:privacy

In addition, the City may be required by law or legal process to disclose certain user information to third parties in connection with legal proceedings and to law enforcement or government entities in connection with an investigation to help prevent or detect unlawful activity and in response to legal or regulatory requests.

We may also share information or statistics with third parties or the public in an aggregated or anonymous form that does not directly identify you.

We do not otherwise share information with outside parties except to the extent necessary to troubleshoot issues or enhance the performance of the system.  The City of Boston will attempt to protect your privacy to the extent possible.  However, because the information that we receive through Wicked Free Wi-Fi is subject to the Massachusetts Public Records Law, Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 66, Section 10, we cannot ensure absolute privacy.  Information that you provide to us or that we collect through Wicked Free Wi-Fi may be available to members of the public upon request if it is a non-exempt public record under Massachusetts law.

You acknowledge that use of the Internet is not entirely secure and for this reason we cannot guarantee the security or integrity of any personal data which are transferred from you or to you via the Internet while using the Wicked Free Wi-Fi service.

Children Under Thirteen Years of Age

We do not knowingly collect personally identifiable information from children under thirteen years of age.

Changes to privacy policy

The City may revise this privacy policy from time to time. We encourage you to visit this page periodically to review our current policy so that you will always know what information we gather and how we may use that information.