Using PCs and Wi-Fi in libraries

Library Wi-Fi acceptable use policy

Southwark Council provides free Wi-Fi access in libraries to facilitate customer access to information, resources and services available via the internet. The following policy has been produced to safeguard the interests of the council, customers and the community. 

Conditions of access

Wi-Fi access in Southwark Libraries is available to all library members free of charge. Users must confirm acceptance of the Terms and Conditions of Use before logging into the service.

Your responsibility

Southwark Council accepts no responsibility for the quality, currency, accuracy or availability of information accessed via WI-FI facilities available in Southwark Libraries.

Southwark Council assumes no liability for any loss, damage or injury, direct or indirect, suffered as a result of using the Wi-Fi service. This includes the loss of or damage to personal computer equipment on council premises.

Children and young people

Children and young people may only use WI-FI facilities when accompanied and supervised by an appropriate adult. Managing and monitoring access to the internet by children and young people is the responsibility of the child’s parent, carer or legal guardian. 

Filtering and monitoring

Filtering software is in place to screen out inappropriate, offensive and/or illegal material and activity may be monitored. Southwark Council reserves the right to block sites judged inappropriate or deemed to pose a risk to users and/or the public WI-FI service.

However, Southwark Council cannot guarantee that all such material will be identified and blocked. Adults should be aware of this and take the relevant precautions to monitor access when allowing children in their care to use the WI-FI service.

Access to inappropriate content should be reported to

Prohibited uses

The use of Wi-Fi for illegal or unauthorised activities is prohibited. This includes but is not limited to:

  • access to or distribution of material considered obscene, offensive or abusive. This includes the sending of emails and text messages which could be considered racist, obscene, offensive and/or abusive
  • access to or distribution of copyrighted material or content
  • take part in illegal activities or view or distribute illegal materials
  • send spam or unsolicited bulk emails
  • engage in any activity which may result in intellectual property rights violations
  • gain or attempt to gain unauthorised access to computer systems, accounts, or networks
  • engage in export control violations
  • engage in any activity in violation of the law
  • make threats or engage in threatening behaviour
  • view or distribute pornographic materials
  • engage in high bandwidth operations and large file transfers
  • intercept or view the content of messages, files or communications in transit on a data network
  • to create false identities, engage in fraudulent activities or mispresent themselves in online media, blogs and chatrooms

Southwark Council reserves the right to refuse WI-FI access to any individuals in breach of the acceptable use policy.

Your security

For your own security and privacy, we advise you do not use the Wi-Fi facilities to broadcast personal details including but not limited to online financial transactions. Southwark Council takes no responsibility for any failure to retrieve/save data, booking or transaction details, confirmations or receipts.

Whilst we will use all reasonable efforts to safeguard your personal data, you acknowledge that use of open WI-FI access in a public environment may not be entirely secure.  Therefore we cannot undertake to guarantee the security or integrity of any personal data transferred by you or to you while using our WI-FI service or the security of any device used with our WI-FI service.

Privacy policy

By accepting these terms and conditions you consent to us collecting, using and disclosing your personal information in accordance with this policy.

Data we may collect about you:

  • your library card number
  • MAC address
  • IP address
  • session start and end times, including duration
  • websites and IP addresses visited
  • the type and quantity of traffic transmitted and received
  • your location while using the service

The personal data we hold on you will be adequate, relevant and not excessive. We are processing your data to enter into a contract. This information helps us to build a profile of our users for statistical purposes and to improve how we provide our Wi-Fi service to you. Your personal information will be reviewed or destroyed after 6 weeks.

We will use and store your data in accordance with relevant data protection legislation:

  • to enable you to connect to the Wi-Fi service.
  • to allow us to research, statistical analysis and behavioural analysis
  • to facilitate fraud prevention and detection
  • to facilitate security vetting
  • to help us improve our service

Disclosure of your personal data

We may disclose your personal data for processing to:

  • our staff
  • our WI-FI partners (and their staff) who help us provide our WI-FI service to you
  • government bodies and law enforcement agencies in connection with any investigation to help prevent or detect unlawful activity and in response to legal or regulatory requests
  • other third parties in connection with possible legal proceedings
  • other third parties in emergency situations

Keeping your data secure

We will use technical and organisational measures to safeguard your personal data, for example:

  • we store your personal data on secure servers
  • our staff are aware that they must respect the confidentiality of your personal data

If you are concerned about how the council is using your data, please contact our Data Protection Officer via or on 020 7525 5000.  More information about your rights is available on our website, or via the Information Commissioner.

If you have any queries about this policy, please contact

Page last updated: 22 February 2019