CTIT University of Twente
CTIT Connecting Project

Frequently Asked Questions


Data collection: what's happening


What type of data is collected and why?

We collect data (MAC address, SSID) from WIFI enabled mobile devices - smartphones, tablets, laptops - in several campus canteens and the Starbucks Educafé. With these data we can analyze the type of use of the building/canteen, detect busy hours, for example. This is done within CTIT’s research project ‘Measuring Meaning of Spaces’. Every mobile device trying to connect to WiFi, sends out a signal. It is this signal we pick up for monitoring. The project starts with nine WiFi-scanners, with a growing number in the near future.

Is my mobile monitored as well?

Yes, every mobile device with WiFi switched on, is monitored.

What about privacy?

The piece of information that is unique for your phone or tablet, is the so-called MAC-address. Before this is sent to the database, this address is hashed. In this way, we never are able to trace it back to the individual user. The project fits within the boundaries of anonymized monitoring, and has been approved by the ethical committee of the EEMCS faculty.

What do you do with the data you collect?

At the moment we have a good analysis of the way several spaces are used on the campus, this can lead to e.g. intelligent navigation systems directing a visitor to an event in the most convenient way. It can also give rise to new ICT applications we don’t know the existence of yet. All is aimed at using ICT to create a smart campus. You can read more about this on this website.

How safe is the stored data?

Only authorized people within the project are allowed to access the data. They all have to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

What if I don’t want to share my data?

You can opt out by filling in your MAC address on this webpage. Instructions for finding your MAC address, for various types of mobile devices, are given as well.

How do you share your findings?

We want to share our results both with the scientific community, through publications, and with the general public and press, through news releases. Furthermore, we plan to organize a meeting in the near future, in which we present the ambitions and first results to users, internal and external stakeholders.