Have you noticed these towering booths popping up in your neighborhood?
Those kiosks are called LinkNYC, and they’re stealing from you with the government’s help. In a public-private partnership with Google, NYC has agreed to sell our personal data in exchange for advertising dollars all without our consent.
LinkNYC kiosks are equipped with microphones, bluetooth beacons and multiple surveillance cameras that collect identifiying information of users and potentially, also passersby. If the corporate exploitation of New Yorkers weren’t bad enough, it is unclear whether the laws on the books, like the Communications Law Enforcement Act, means that law enforcement agencies could also use the booths for surveillance purposes. The LinkNYC kiosks are basically NYPD surviellance boxes dressed up in glass and aluminum.
With hundreds of booths already in place around the City, corporations and the government are poised to practice mass surveillance. That surveillance — whether by corporations or the government — is never colorblind, and hits PoC and marginalized communities disproportionately.
In fact, the only area that has been opted out from the targeted advertising NYCLink will push based on your identifying information, is Staten Island, the area where a high concentration of the city’s police force lives.
LinkNYC is not community WiFi. It’s corporate exploitation and mass surveillance boxed and marketed as free WiFi. Say no to LinkNYC.
When are LinkNYC kiosks going to be installed?
Right now! Hundreds of new kiosks are being installed every month, and CityBridge has contracted to install at least 7,500 kiosks across all five boroughs within 8 years. NYC is piloting this program, but CityBridge is spreading: Washington DC had its first kiosk installed this past summer.