Purple: GDPR Compliant, New Profile Portal, and an Interesting Experiment

We recently had the opportunity to sit down with WBA member Purple and ask them a few questions. Gavin Wheeldon, CEO, was kind enough to take the time to speak with us and shed some light on a very interesting experiment that the company recently tried.

To start off, can you tell us a little bit about Purple?

Purple is an overlay onto existing Wi-Fi networks, and what we offer can be summed up as access, analyze, and action. We make the process of getting users on board painless and interactive, which covers the access. With analytics, we offer a look at all of the important statistics and metrics. And the third part, which is probably the most powerful, is around actions. In other words, we provide solutions to better your service and create more personalized interactivity with users.

Purple recently became the first EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliant Wi-Fi provider, and unveiled a new Profile Portal. Tell us a bit about that?

It’s important to point out that because we’ve taken all of the necessary steps to make sure that we’re compliant, it also means that our partners who use our solutions and platforms are compliant too, as are their customers. In terms of the Profile Portal, one of the requirements of being GDPR compliant is that people must be able to have access to their data and how it’s used. We believe that having a good relationship with the Wi-Fi user is important, and we wanted to make the process as easy as possible for them. It gives the consumer the ability to control what is done with their data, and we think this is a positive for all parties involved.

To coincide with the release of the Profile Portal, Purple conducted a fun ‘experiment’ that has received a lot of attention in the press and online. Can you shed a little light on what led to this experiment?

We took the Privacy Policy for our Purple-branded hotspots, which was about a page and a half in length, and made it even shorter – it’s now about half a page long. And for the span of two weeks, we included a joke clause in the Privacy Policy for 22,000+ users that required them to perform 1,000 hours of community service in order to access free Wi-Fi. We offered a £100 Amazon gift card to anyone who noticed the clause, and in that two week period, only one person spotted it. It ultimately could have been a very expensive experiment if more people took the time to read the Privacy Policy. At Purple, we’re trying to be as transparent as possible and give people as much information as we can in small, bite-size chunks. And this allows users to be in complete control of their data and, ultimately, control who has access to it.

For more information about Purple, visit the company’s website. More information on the company’s experiment can be found in this blog.

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