Hotspot is a public territory where internet access is provided
via wireless local area network ("WLAN").
Hotels, restaurants, train stations, bus terminals, hospitals and
university campuses are just some of many examples of Hotspot
areas. As internet continues to grow, number of public authorities
and commercial enterprises providing hotspot service to their
guests increase every day and hotspots are used by many laptop and
mobile device users. Several methods are used by these entities for
allowing internet access such as e-mail information, creating
profiles or asking for a membership passwords. While in many cases
hotspot services are offered to guests for free, some commercial
hotspot providers prefer to charge a certain fee in consideration
of this wireless internet access.
In view of growing use of mobile devices and internet,
particularly in Turkey, many Turkish restaurants, hotels and firms
in service industry are already offering hotspot service to their
Which Legal Aspects Should be Considered When Providing Hotspot
Service to Customers?
Before providing Hotspot Service, prerequisites and permissions
required under Information and Communications Technologies
Authority ("ICTA") regulations should be identified as
well as general law principles of Turkish Commercial Code and Code
Companies who render Wireless
Local Internet Access Service – Hotspot from third party
Access Providers and provide it to their own customers are
evaluated under different titles according to ICTA
legislation based on some criteria; e.g if the service is
offered for free or for a charge.
For example; companies providing Hotspot service for free are
considered as Internet Public Use Providers
according to "Regulation on Internet Public Use
Providers", while companies providing this service to their
customers for a charge are considered as Commercial
Internet Public Use Providers.
The obligations and prerequisites which are binding on Internet
Public Use Providers and Commercial Internet Public Use Providers
It is substantial to determine and analyse which definition covers
the service to be provided by the company under the applicable
legislation. Pursuant to this determination, companies will be
required to fulfil certain technical preconditions, registration
procedures and to complete permission processes.
Regulations on Transmitters should
also be evaluated as part of ICTA legislation.
Although the basic obligations with
regards to Protection of Personal Data are binding
for access providers and operators; companies,
which collect personal data (Turkish Identity Number, passport
number, telephone number etc.) for Hotspot access, shall also
ensure the privacy of personal data and operate in accordance with
the applicable legislation. Accordingly, it is a legal requirement
to obtain permission from data owners in relation to personal data
which may be collected for enabling Hotspot access.
It is a crucial issue for companies to regulate the technical
conditions and obligations, arising from applicable legislation,
properly in the agreements with Access Providers and end
users. Otherwise companies wishing to offer benefits and provide
value added services to their customers may face civil and criminal
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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Hotel proprietors are strictly liable, without proof of negligence, for the loss of property brought to the hotel by their guests, unless they can show that the loss resulted from the guest's own negligence.
Managing hotels and associated leisure facilities will inevitably give rise to a wide range of complex commercial and legal issues.
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