Beware! PTA Will Now Retain User Information from Public WIFI Hotspots

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has notified “Data Retention of Internet extended to WiFi-Hotspots Regulations, 2018″ aimed at facilitating service providers and its users through proper check and balances.

According to the rules, the owner of a public Wi-Fi hotspot will be required to maintain a log of the user information for a minimum twelve (12) months against the six 6 months earlier proposed in the draft-rules.

The regulator has introduced a mechanism for the registration, maintenance and retention of information of persons using data services through wi-fi hot spots in public places.

PTA Will Now Retain User Information from Public WIFI Hotspots

As per the Telecommunications Policy 2015, provision of public Wi-Fi hot spots based on international standards will be allowed for commercial use. PTA has put in place necessary regulations encompassing appropriate adjustments in transmit power and hop length, to ensure that the benefit available from Wi-Fi is maximized within constraints of the ITU-R Radio Regulations and possible interference effects.

In this context, a Wi-Fi hot spot is a Wi-Fi node that is attached to a fixed network and provides limited mobility access or fixed access. Therefore, backhaul for public Wi-Fi hot spots will be provided by a fixed network operator where such services are available.

Mobile operators wishing to provide public fixed or limited mobility Wi-Fi services to their own customers may do so under a commercial arrangement with a fixed network operator. Wi-Fi offloading of mobile traffic to a Wi-Fi node linked to a mobile network or to a WiFi hot spot linked to a fixed network may be undertaken by mobile licensees.

In the spirit of the license granted to a mobile operator, the Wi-Fi node linked to a mobile network may be used to provide offloading of mobile traffic only from its own subscribers and from those that are roaming on its network. The Wi-Fi node linked to a mobile network must not be used as a Wi-Fi hot spot that provides fixed or limited mobility services. PTA will ensure that consumer protection and other regulatory arrangements that apply to ISPs more generally apply to Wi-Fi hot spots.

These regulations shall apply to access providers and class licensing registration licensees with the mandate to register, maintain and retain information of people using data services through Wi-Fi hotspots at public places as prescribed under these new regulations.

All Wi-Fi hotspot service providers are required to retain information/data of users from public Wi-Fi hotspots. Service providers/licensee(s) will have to provide this user information to the Authority or its authorized officer(s) as and when required.

Information that PTA will Track:

Licensee(s) shall device a mechanism Public Wi-Fi Hotspot wherein following minimum information shall be required from the users of Wi-Fi Hotspot an automated mechanism:

  1. Full name of the user
  2. CNIC number /passport numbers (in case of foreigners)
  3. Mobile number [shall be used as Login ID]
  4. Acceptance of Terms and Conditions to use of such Data Services facilities
  5. Generation of the password through SMS.

Licensee(s) will have to observe technical expertise and arrangements, as provided in Class Licensing Registration Regulation, 2007, the draft of PTA regulation stated.

Requirements from the Owners of Public Wi-Fi Hotspots

The owner of a public Wi-Fi hotspot will be required to maintain a log of the following user information for a minimum of twelve (12) months:

  1. Full name of the user
  2. CNIC number/passport numbers (in case of foreigners)
  3. Mobile Number
  4. Date & time of login
  5. Date & time of logoff
  6. IP address allocated to the user
  7. MAC Address
  8. Internet Access Log e.g. Http, POP, IMAP, Skype.

In case of non-compliance with these regulations, the data services provided by the licensees as public Wi-Fi hotspot will be terminated /disconnected.

The licensees shall comply with all regulations, decisions, guidelines, procedures and instructions issued by the Authority for the establishment of Wi-Fi Hotspot as well as facilitation to the consumer, including all applicable law in force in Pakistan.

Fahad Khan

Fahad is an Entrepreneur, SEO and SMM Specialist and an Affiliate Marketer. He also loves to blog about gadgets, technology, smartphones etc.

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