Marriot’s free Wi-Fi comes with a surprising extra

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Hotels usually charge their patrons an abysmal rate for their Wi-Fi service. A hotel which doesn’t charge their clients for the latter usually comes one in a million. Even big named vacation houses can charge you a fee just so you can use their connection.

Well, Courtyard Marriot in Midtown Manhattan isn’t one of them. The said hotel enables their guests to use their Wi-Fi connection for free. But it comes with a price.

According to a Web engineer who was using the free service at his hotel room the free service was secretly injecting lines of code into all the pages he visited. This said code allows it to insert ads into any Web page without the knowledge of the site or the visitor.

The said Web engineer is Justin Watt. He was aghast with this intrusion as he compared this to a logistics company. He said, “Imagine the USPS, FedEx, for that matter, opening your Amazon boxes and injecting ads into the packages.”

The lines of code include references to “rxg”. The latter stands for Revenue eXtraction Gateway, it is a service that is aimed at generating income from Internet access points. On the website of RG Nets which makes the “rxg”, they explain that the system rewrites every Web page to include a banner ad. In their video it says, “As you can see, the pervasive nature of the advertising banner on all Web pages guarantees banner advertising impression.”

Image Source: marriot.com