Following up on these privacy concerns with municipal wi-fi programs, I am beginning to wonder to what extent the providers of muni-wi-fi (such as Google) might be considered “state agents” when it comes to the collecting of personal information via these technologies.
Does the fact that Google is providing this wi-fi as a public service on behalf of the city make them a de facto “state agent”? If so, does this have any impact on the legal procedures the state must go through in order to obtain any records Google maintains on users accessing the system? Conversely, if Google is now considered a “state agent,” do users have 4th Amendment rights when it comes Google’s collection of their browsing & locational data?
BTW, I am not a lawyer, and my understanding of these issues is based on my limited digestion of what my wife (who is an attorney) is patient enough to explain to me. Can anywone else chime in with the legalities of these concerns?