Home > Privacy, Retail > Facebook ‘Anonymous Login’: What Is the Impact on Social Wi-Fi?

Facebook ‘Anonymous Login’: What Is the Impact on Social Wi-Fi?

Reporting from Facebook’s developer conference, CNET writes:

“The biggest news for Facebook’s 1.28 billion members is “Anonymous Login,” a twist on the standard Facebook Login option that gives people a way to try an app without sharing any of their personal information from the social network. The move addresses concerns about user privacy as Facebook seeks ways to encourage people to explore new apps.”

Note "Not so social?" option below the social login buttons.

Note “Not so social?” option below the social login buttons.

“Facebook says it’s testing the new log-in option with select developers,including Flipboard. That means you likely won’t see the black button in your favorite apps for several months.”

“The news aligns with one of the event’s broader themes around putting people first and giving them more control over their data. Zuckerberg expounded upon this notion of improving trust and getting people more comfortable with using Facebook in conjunction with third-party apps.”

How does this impact social Wi-Fi, and specifically social log-ins?

As it turns out, we at AirTight recognized early on that despite tremendous growth and acceptance of social media generally, it’s essential that users are provided a means to utilize Wi-Fi services anonymously.


AirTight Social Wi-Fi does not equate to using social media as a paywall in front of the Wi-Fi network. Instead, it is as an opportunity to use the existing guest Wi-Fi network to invite users into a social community and in many cases offer special promotions as well.

That is why we created a “Clickthrough” option in the beginning so that users who simply wanted to offload onto a free guest network for a short period of time still had the ability to do so without feeling like they are forced to share their social data.

Our Clickthrough plugin and this new Facebook ‘Anonymous Login’ feature are the same idea in spirit. Users want to access various services but not every user wants to share their social details in return.

There is a value we attribute to our data and since that value is different for every individual, brands may find that they are missing the chance to involve a segment of their user base simply because the ‘cost’ of Wi-Fi services is too high (i.e, “it’s not worth it to me to use your service in exchange for my personal data”). Either through our Clickthrough plugin or this new anonymous Facebook option, a user will be able to access Wi-Fi behind a Facebook login without sharing data.

I should also note that we introduced the ‘Not So Social?’ feature last year (unlike our competitors who do not offer an anonymous route as far as I know) for the same privacy reasons discussed in CNET’s article. So we are ahead of Facebook in that regard.

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Have an opinion on social Wi-Fi? Would you/do you use it? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Sean Blanton

Sean Blanton is senior systems engineer at AirTight Networks. Many of his projects with nationwide retail, restaurant and hospitality chains focus on social Wi-Fi and analytics, along with PCI compliance and Wi-Fi security.

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Privacy, Retail

Comments

  1. Mike
    May 8th, 2014 at 13:16 | #1

    Agreed…the offer is going to have to be a good one in order to induce someone into giving up their data. BTW…In-n-out doesn’t need a loyalty program…the product is compelling enough…which reminds me…I’m hungry…In-n-out it is…

  2. Mike
    May 7th, 2014 at 17:38 | #2

    It would seem to me that EVERYONE would sign in with the anonymous button…unless you deny me that slice of pizza as per your example….then I’d consider the blue button…and even if I did use the blue button, it will now be possible to limit the data I give up to you with a couple of taps….no more Birth Date, friends list, email etc.. It’s a not a good thing for social wifi…

    Oh well…

    • May 7th, 2014 at 18:26 | #3

      Yes, there has to be value in whatever you get by signing in with social credentials vs “Anonymous login” or what we call “Clickthrough” option. This functionality exists in our product today, and I assume we put it in because our customers (retail/restaurants/hospitality) asked for it.

      That said, there are many consumers who are passionate about the brands they interact with, and they do want to “Like” on Facebook or get specials and promotions. That’s why loyalty programs exist. For example, if there were one at In-n-Out Burger, I’d definitely join it. Sadly they offer neither Wi-Fi nor a loyalty program. :-(

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