☰ Sidebar
Voting period for this idea type has passed

SXSW Interactive 2015

Wi-Fi Privacy: When Sniffing becomes Snooping

Image that your daily activities are being recorded and collected: your early morning jog in the park, your daily trip to the local coffee shop, your commute to work. No, we’re not referencing the NSA. We are referring to an emerging class of location-based marketing companies that sniff out signals emitted from Wi-Fi-enabled smartphones (Wi-Fi sniffing) to better understand your habits based off of your location – where you go, how often, how long you stay there, what time you generally visit, and more! All this information is being used to construct a profile that businesses are using for marketing purposes.

As the location based marketing industry grows, privacy concerns arise. This session will explore these concerns including how much meaning a location can have, what are the legal and ethical privacy issues around this practice, what consumers and businesses should expect from Wi-Fi sniffing technology as the practice takes off, and how to opt out.

Share this idea

Related Media

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. What is wi-fi sniffing and what real-world case studies show how businesses are using it for marketing purposes?
  2. What are the ethical and privacy issues associated with wi-fi sniffing? What rights do consumers have?
  3. What can consumers and businesses expect from Wi-Fi sniffing technology as the practice takes off?
  4. What can consumers do to prevent their information from being picked up by wi-fi sniffing technology?
  5. What types of data to wi-fi sniffers collect and how do businesses use and store this data?


  • Adam Tyler, Chief Innovation Officer, CSID


Helen Murphy, Account Supervisor, CSID

Meta Information:

  • Tags: privacy, cybersecurity
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Solo
  • Track: WTF and Beyond
  • Track 2
  • Level: Advanced
Show me another idea

Add Comments

comments powered by Disqus

SXSW reserves the right to restrict access to or availability of comments related to PanelPicker proposals that it considers objectionable.