As if you weren't already bombarded by enough ads! Depending on which Wi-Fi hotspot you log on to, you could be seeing a lot more. One nationwide company has wireless hotspots all over the country, and it could be injecting huge amounts of advertising onto your gadget. This isn't just annoying; it's actually very dangerous, too.
Jonathan Mayer, a computer scientist and lawyer at Stanford University, was sitting in Dulles Airport near Washington, D.C., using a free AT&T hotspot, and noticed ads that shouldn't be there on Stanford's homepage. He found extra ads on the Wall Street Journal's site, as well as federal government websites.
Being a computer scientist, he found the culprit: AT&T itself was sending these ads via the Wi-Fi hotspot. This isn't good! Those ads, injected by a third party partnered with AT&T, could allow your browsing activity to be monitored. And the code it injects to place the ads could mess with how you view the websites themselves.
On his blog, Mayer wrote that a similar practice at a Marriott property was ended soon after it was discovered. He also notes that AT&T doesn't mention the advertising injection in the terms of service you accept in order to use its hotspot.
It's obviously AT&T trying to make a few bucks off of the free Wi-Fi it offers you at these hotspots. But does it deserve the money at the expense of your online security? Or should AT&T end this practice immediately? Let us know what you think in the comments below.