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Auckland Council drops WiFI gender question following backlash

By Shannon Williams, Wed 22 Jul 2015
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Following several complaints, the Auckland Council has confirmed it is removing a pop-up on its free Tomizone Wi-Fi, which asks users to select if they are male or female. 

It was reported by TVNZ last week that the Tomizone Wi-Fi login page asked users to identify their gender before they could log on to the service to access the internet.

According to TVNZ, Tomizone CEO Steve Simms defended the popup, explaining the question was there to provide a more ‘personalised’ service to internet users.

“As a guy, do you want to see feminine health products, or if you were a girl a whole heap of stuff about four-wheel drives," Simms told OneNews. 

Apparently girls aren’t interested in four-wheel drives. 

The Auckland Council says the question was a part of a three-month trial to tailor internet content to users. 

Kaipatiki local board member Richard Hills posted a picture of the Tomizone gender question on Twitter, asking, “What the heck is this @AklCouncil - How are you varying the content for gender? Why? So inappropriate & unneeded!”.

The Auckland Council quickly responding, agreeing the issue needed to be looked at, then later confirming the question would be removed, apologising for ‘any offence caused.’

Hills then thanked the council for its quick action, but reminded them the question shouldn’t have been there in the first place.

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