Use of WiFi Connection Information in TIPPERS Research

UCI’s Office of Information Technology provides UCINet connectivity via WiFi to all areas of campus. The UCI campus WiFi network generates logs about devices connecting to the WiFi network. This information is used to monitor network health and plan performance and service improvements. In the interest of transparency, we want you to be aware of a new way this data will be used.

TIPPERS Research

Beginning May 17, 2019 in partnership with ICS, a subset of the WiFi connection information is being provided to a research group that is developing a system called “TIPPERS.” The information shared in this way will be strictly limited to details on the WiFi connection itself; no personally identifiable information and no information transmitted over the connection will be collected or shared.

Why is data being gathered for TIPPERS?

TIPPERS will be used to help make practical decisions relating to a wide range of campus operations. For example, the data can be analyzed to determine whether a space is heavily occupied and needs increased ventilation, whether fire code violations are taking place, or even to support emergency evacuations. Many other uses have already been explored and more will become apparent as TIPPERS evolves.

What data is being collected?

Raw connection information collected from WiFi access points is stored in secure databases owned and managed by OIT. No identifiable information other than a device’s MAC address (network hardware identifier) is collected. Before providing information to TIPPERS, OIT anonymizes the data by encrypting the MAC address. The anonymized data provided to TIPPERS cannot be used to identify the device or the user of the network.

The initial phase of this project will include information generated from a limited number of buildings on the main campus. No information from any other buildings or campuses will be shared.

Buildings included in the initial phase:

  • Bren Hall
  • Calit2
  • Computer Sciences
  • Computer Sciences 2
  • Natural Sciences I
  • Natural Sciences II
  • Reines Hall
  • Rowland Hall

Opt Out

If you do not want your anonymized WiFi connection information to be used in this way, please contact the OIT Help Desk (oit@uci.edu or 949-824-2222) stating that you would like to opt out. If you choose to opt out, no WiFi connection information generated by any devices you specify will be forwarded to the TIPPERS system.

Please contact the OIT Help Desk if you have any questions or concerns.

More Information on TIPPERS

For more details on what TIPPERS is, how the WiFi data is used, and what research is being supported, see the TIPPERS website, here: http://tippersweb.ics.uci.edu/

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