Would they?

If you use the Swiss lounge at Zurich airport and have the effrontery of asking for Internet access, you are given a voucher, valid 24 hours. It works (well, if you are ready to watch a Mercedes ad for a full thirty seconds, no early escape unless you want to restart from scratch). Otherwise I could not be writing this article.

The voucher shows the code you musts enter into the browser. It also shows your name, your flight, your seat number. These pieces of information and the connection between them are, then, in the system. Anyone with access to that system can precisely track what you did online.

Of course I am fantasizing. No one would ever do this. Why would they?

Predictably, many people leave their vouchers lying around when they leave for their flights. So you could use someone else’s voucher to engage in some dubious or downright illicit Internet practice, and shift the blame to the other person. But no one would ever do this. Why would they?


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  1. Bernd Schoeller says:

    I always have a VPN tunnel configured in my Laptop connecting to an environment that I trust. Everything in between is encrypted and nobody can snoop. Great for open WLAN spots or internet cafes.

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  2. idontwanttoregister says:

    I’m not sure the vouchers left behind are (at least all) left oblivious of the possibility of being reused. On the contrary, if you take your plane, you have very good proof elements that you weren’t in the lounge after departure. Therefore any use of your internet connect account after this time cannot be assigned to you. Now of course, the population present after that time is not entirely anonymous either, unless the vouchers are moved outside of the security checkpoints (and Wifi access is available outside). In any case, it’s a basic operation if you want to anonymize identified tokens, to randomly exchange them (and as long as you don’t need the identification (the controlling entity may need it more than you) and you don’t have any financial (or other) risk in it), it’s natural to do it.

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