The Gold Coast council is set to implement a wifi service to use the Facebook data collected from visitors at the Commonwealth Games next month.
The data mining is legal according to the council, and will be used to help the area market itself to tourists.
In order to access fast, free wifi, users will be required to login using their Facebook accounts.
If users object to sharing their Facebook data, there will still be free wifi available, but it will be much slower and downloads will be restricted.
The service was switched on in Surfers Paradise, Southport and Broadbeach on Tuesday.
It cost $5 million to set up this internet infrastructure, which was organised due to purported doubts about the rollout of the NBN and its speed.
“The most important information is about country of origin, to better understand the use by overseas tourists, who are one of the primary target groups for the service,” a spokesperson from the council told the Guardian.
“The city will be able to understand patterns of demand and use, including how many people are accessing the service, times of day and the amounts of data used. It will also be very useful for understanding numbers during events and seasonal effects.
“It should be stated that the city takes very seriously the protection of users’ data and information. The city will not be carrying out retrospective analysis of people’s Facebook accounts.”
David Vaile, chair of the Australian privacy foundation, has stressed the importance of keeping the process transparent and ensuring that people are aware of what they're signing up for.