PTA will track User Information from Public WiFi Hotspots

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Due to the increasing number of WiFi Hotspots at Public places, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has notified to facilitate service providers as well as users via “Data Retention of Internet extended WiFi Hotspots Regulations 2018”.

According to this new policy, Public WiFi Hotspot Owners will need to maintain a log of user’s details for a minimum time period of 12 months as opposed to the 6 months proposed in the draft regulations.

Moreover, the regulator has also launched a mechanism for registration, retention and maintenance of public data who will using internet/data services via WiFi Hotspots in Public vicinities.

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According to the Telecommunications Policy 2015, provision of Public Hotspots (WiFi) will be allowed for commercial usage. Mobile operators who offer fixed/limited mobility public WiFi services to their users may do so under commercial arrangement with a fixed network operator.

WiFi Offloading of mobile traffic to a WiFi node linked to a WiFi hotspot or to a mobile-network linked to a fixed network shall be undertaken by mobile licensees. If a mobile operator is granted with the license, the WiFi node linked to a mobile network may then be used to provide offloading of the mobile-traffic from its own users only or for roaming customers.

5.10.4 PTA will ensure that consumer protection and other regulatory arrangements that apply to ISPs more generally apply to Wi-Fi hotspots”

However, these regulations shall apply to reach class licensing registration licensees or providers with the mandate to retain, register or maintain public data via data services using WiFi hotspots at public spots.

It is compulsory for all WiFi hotspot services providers to retain details of users via public WiFi hotspots. Service Providers/Licensees will then need to provide this information to the higher-authorities or its authorized officers (if/when required).

Information that PTA will Collect:

Licensees will need to devise a mechanism for their Public WiFi Hotspots where the following user-data will be saved in automated system:

  1. Complete Name Of User
  2. CNIC Number or Passport Number (for foreigners)
  3. Mobile Number (Which will be used for login)
  4. Acceptance of Terms & Conditions to use of such Data Services
  5. Password generation via SMS

Additional Information:

Licensees will need to observe technical arrangements or expertise, as given in Class Licensing Registration Regulation in 2007, as stated in draft of PTA regulation.

Requirements for Public WiFi Hotspots Owners:

The owner of a Public WiFi Hotspot will need to maintain a log of the following user data for a minimum time period of 12 months:

  1. User’s Full Name
  2. CNIC Number or Passport Number (for foreigners)
  3. Mobile Number
  4. Login Time & Date
  5. Logout Time & Date
  6. IP Address allocated to the user
  7. MAC Address
  8. Internet Access Log i.e. IMAP / POP / HTTP / SKYPE

Furthermore, in case of non-compliance with the aforementioned rules & regulations, data services offered by the licensees as public WiFi Hotspot will be terminated.

The licensees are requested to comply with all the rules & regulations procedures, guidelines, decisions and instructions that are issued by the Authority for the establishment of WiFi hotspots. Stay tuned!

About Ahad Ch

Ahad is a Co-Founder & Editor in Chief at Cells.pk with 6 Years of experience in Digital journalism. Ahad has a passion for covering all latest news from the world of technology and takes keen interest in phone customization (Android & iOS). Reach him via ahad@cells.pk