Common questions about BT Wi-fi


BT Wi-fi Insight


BT Wi-fi Insight is an analytics service which uses mobile technology to monitor visitor numbers at our site partner venues.

When a smart device (which has wi-fi enabled) enters a location, the on-board wi-fi card emits a beacon as it attempts to find a known wi-fi network to connect to. This beacon contains a unique identifier (the device MAC address). Any Access Point within the vicinity of the device will capture this and transmit this back to a wi-fi controller.

BT Wi-fi can then use this information, along with time stamp and signal strength, to inform our partners of key visitor numbers across their venue. All information reported to partners is on an aggregated and anonymised basis.

If you have a smart device and you have your wi-fi enabled, this means that you will be counted as a visitor within our overall numbers, however, BT Wi-fi does not identify, track or monitor individual movements, behaviours or activities and has no means to identify you based on your MAC address.

All reporting provided to our partners is on an aggregated and anonymised basis and provides them with an insight to visitor numbers and dwell times within their premises.

Even though it doesn’t identify you, BT does consider that your device MAC address counts as personal information and, as such, we take additional steps to ensure that your privacy is protected.

Upon detection of a MAC address, a 2 step cryptographic 'hashing' process is applied which will generate a separate unique ID for that device. The two step process ensures that it is not possible for the unique ID to be backwards engineered to identify the original MAC address.

All reporting which is generated through this process is completely anonymised and aggregated and is not merged with any additional data sources to ensure that every individual remains unidentifiable.

For the purposes of location analytics, BT Wi-fi is only providing anonymised information around visitor numbers, however, to be explicitly clear:-

  • BT Wi-fi will NOT be able to identify individuals accessing (or in the vicinity of) the BT Wi-fi network
  • BT Wi-fi will NOT be able to intercept traffic over the wi-fi service
  • BT Wi-fi will NOT be able to tell what websites are being visited

Yes. Whilst all information collated and processed remains anonymous and aggregated, it is also possible for any individual to 'Opt Out' their device from being included in visitor metrics.

At the simplest level, users can simply disable the wi-fi on their device meaning it will not communicate with the building APs, however, this will prevent you from using the wi-fi service.

To Opt Out whilst continuing to use the in venue wi-fi, you can visit http://www.smart-places.org/ where you can submit your devices MAC address for exclusion from any visitor metrics. Once the MAC address has been submitted and registered as “opted out”, the BT Wi-fi Insight platform will still detect the MAC address when you are within range, however it will automatically discard this information at point of capture to ensure it is not included with any reporting.

A wi-fi address is a unique 12 digit identifier that is also commonly called a MAC (Media Access Control) address or network name: eg 01-23-45-67-89-ab or 01:23:45:67:89:ab. A MAC address is unique to your device and is stored in your device's networking hardware by the device manufacturer. It allows your device to connect to wi-fi or other wireless networks.

Apple iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch

  • Go to Settings > General > About
  • The Wi-Fi MAC is displayed in the field labelled "Wi-Fi Address"
  • Tip: Once you've found your MAC address, double-tap it to select it. Then, tap copy. Tap again in the opt-out field to paste.

Android Phone or Tablet

  • Go to Menu > Settings > Wireless & Networks
  • Check the box marked Wi-Fi to ensure that wireless is turned on
  • Go to Back > About Phone or About Tablet > Hardware Information
  • The Wi-Fi MAC is displayed here.

Blackberry Phone or Tablet

Wi-Fi address for OS 4.5-5.0:

  • Go to Options > Status
  • The Wi-Fi MAC is located in the field labeled "WLAN MAC".

Wi-Fi address for OS 6.0-7.1:

  • Go to Setup > Options > Device > Device and Status Information
  • The Wi-Fi MAC is located in the field labelled "WLAN MAC".

Windows Phone or Tablet

  • Make sure your Wi-Fi is enabled
  • Go to Start > Settings > Connections > Wireless LAN > Advanced
  • The MAC address is displayed in the "MAC" field.

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