Six Londoners unwittingly agreed to give up their eldest child as part of an experiment into public internet services, according to a report.
Researchers said they set up a Wi-Fi hotspot in the capital which was accompanied by a detailed terms and conditions page.
This contained a “deliberately ridiculous” term which stated that in return for free Wi-Fi, the individual using the service was prepared to “render up their eldest child for the duration of eternity”.
A report, entitled Tainted Love: How Wi-Fi Betrays Us by security and privacy company F-Secure, added: “Despite this, six people decided that it was a fair exchange and signed up.”
The researchers said they would not be enforcing the clause.
Investigators also found that more than 250 people logged onto a “trojanised” free Wi-Fi hotspot in a period of half an hour.
The report concluded: ” Our results illustrate the very real problem of the modern world which is that – while massively dependent on the technology – the population is unaware of its capabilities for surveillance and intrusion into their lives.
“The problem is that people implicitly trust their technology and are not aware of the implications of that trust.
“There is an insatiable pursuit of bandwidth, driven mainly by the desire to have video, data-rich apps and super-fast website performance on the move.
“This appetite for bandwidth … has blinded consumers to the risks that they are taking. In pursuit of free bandwidth, people are prepared to do anything as our experiment showed with its draconian terms and conditions.”