Facebook is plotting with Cisco to obtain demographic and user social data in return for free mobile Wi-Fi in places like restaurants.
The service is called Facebook Wi-Fi Service, and all a network seeker has to do is authenticate using their Facebook credential. This particular login process is very similar that of the Facebook login features deployed by various websites and apps.
In return for the free Wi-Fi, Facebook will gain access to valuable demographic and user social data. The data will supposedly be anonymous; meaning the person gaining access to the Wi-Fi isn’t giving away his identity. However, the information gathered via the Wi-Fi link can be used to analyze how people are utilizing the services of a particular business.
For example, the MGM Grand’s Wifi network has many access points, and if anyone with a Facebook credential (just about anyone can sign up for a Facebook account) can gain access to the network to surf the web, the data drawn from all these users have the potential to boost certain areas of the business. MGM can, for instance, analyze the data to effectively gauge which area of the casino is usually the most crowded or barren, or whether or not people “Like” the food and beverages served at a certain location in the hotel/casino.
Although MGM can directly tap into this method for mining data, it’s probably much more feasible for businesses like these to rely on large enterprises like Cisco and the social networking monster known as Facebook for quicker access to data. Facebook and Cisco will focus on getting the data, so that MGM can focus on where it can most effectively place a slot machine.