The NYCLU is mostly concerned with the amount of data that CityBridge, the consortium of companies behind the kiosks, can collect. CityBridge requires users to submit their email addresses and agree to allow the company to collect information on what websites they visit, as well as details about how long they view pages and what links they click. In a statement to Daily Intelligencer, LinkNYC general manageer Jen Hensley said that “LinkNYC does not collect or store any data on users’ personal web browsing on their own devices.” According to DNAinfo, such information is collected only from the kiosks’ built-in tablet screens.
The group also raised concerns about surveillance and sought a clarification about CityBridge’s policies regarding the sensors and cameras on the kiosks. From the letter:
After receiving the letter, LinkNYC responded with a statement:
In her statement to Daily Intelligencer, Hensley told us the city and CityBridge will never sell users’ personal information. “CityBridge would require a subpoena or similar lawful request before sharing any data with the NYPD or law enforcement, and we will make every effort to communicate government requests to impacted users,” she said. Hensley adds that the kiosks’ cameras are currently inactive and not designed to feed into any NYPD systems. The mayor’s office also emphasized that the kiosks use encryption to protect against hackers, and that any data shared with advertisers and the city will be anonymized.