PTA to Record User Data from All Public Wi-Fi Hotspots

With the increasing number of Wi-Fi Hotspots at public places, PTA has come up with regulations to facilitate service providers and its users through proper check and balances.

The regulator issued a draft of “Data Retention of Internet extended to WiFi-Hotspots Regulations, 2018″.

These regulations shall apply to Access Providers and Class Licensing Registration licensees with the mandate to register, maintain and retain information of people using data services through Wi-Fi Hotspots at public places as prescribed under these new regulations.

All Wi-Fi Hotspot service providers are required to retain information/data of users from public Wi-Fi hotspots.

Service providers/Licensee(s) will have to provide this user information to the Authority or its authorized officer(s) as and when required.


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Licensee(s) are required devise a mechanism so that minimum information is required from the users via an an automated mechanism:

  1. Full name of the user
  2. CNIC number /passport numbers (in case of foreigners)
  3. Mobile number [shall be used as Login ID]
  4. Acceptance of Terms and Conditions to use of such Data Services facilities
  5. Generation of password through SMS.

Licensee(s) will have to observe technical expertise and arrangements, as provided in Class Licensing Registration Regulation, 2007, the draft of PTA regulation stated.


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The owner of a public Wi-Fi hotspot will be required to maintain a log of the following user information for a minimum six (06) months:

  1. Full Name of the user
  2. CNIC number/passport numbers (in case of foreigners)
  3. Mobile Number
  4. Date & time of login
  5. Date & time of logoff
  6. IP address allocated to the user
  7. MAC Address
  8. Internet Access Log e.g. Http, POP, IMAP, Skype, etc

Licensees will have to carry out a media campaign to create awareness amongst the existing public Wi-Fi hotspot providesr to make requisite arrangements for compliance of these regulations, within three (3) months of the notification of these regulations.

Licensees are required to make all necessary arrangements (if any) to ensure the overall implementation of these Regulations in true spirit.

In case of non-compliance with these regulations, the data services provided by the licensees as public Wi-Fi hotspot will be terminated/disconnected.

The licensees shall comply with all regulations, decisions, guidelines, procedures and instructions issued by the Authority for the establishment of Wi-Fi Hotspot as well as facilitation to the consumer, including all applicable law in force in Pakistan.

PTA’s draft intends to seek comments of all those interested on the subject, so as to introduce a mechanism for the registration, maintenance and retention of information of persons using data services through Wi-Fi hotspots in public places. All interested are requested send their comments and views on this draft latest by 30th March 2018.


    • Can this be monitored if user is using a VPN service? If user is using a non-standard VPN port how will they track activity? So ?

      • VPN traffic is encrypted so they won’t be able to see it, regardless of the port. The VPN company, on the other hand, can see your activity and most VPN companies keep a log of user activity.

    • I’ve seen paid public hotspots in many rural areas around Faisalabad connected internally with Mac restriction. PTA intends to regulate these kind of hotspots.


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