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iOS 8 Randomizes Your MAC Address When Searching for Wi-Fi to Prevent Location Tracking

iOS 8 Randomizes Your MAC Address When Searching for Wi-Fi to Prevent Location Tracking

Posted June 9, 2014 at 3:47pm by iClarified
iOS 8 has made a nice little change in the way it protects your privacy from marketers by randomizing your MAC address when scanning for Wi-Fi networks.

When you're out and about with your Wi-Fi turned on, you're actually broadcasting your MAC address to retailers, government agencies, marketing agencies and more -- even if you never connect to the wireless network. Firms can use that unique MAC address, along with video surveillance footage to learn your shopping habits and effectively track your location while you're in the range of the basestation.

With iOS 8, Apple now randomizes/spoofs your MAC address while you broadcast your Wi-Fi signal, disguising you from marketers and other firms as they are unable to tell who is who. Once you connect to a wireless network, then your device provides the real MAC address.


That means that companies and agencies that collect such information will not necessarily know when the same device (i.e., person) visits a store twice, or that the same device pops up in stores across the country or the world, suggesting a much-travelled owner.

Thanks to Apple, the practice of Wi-Fi sniffing could now be rendered useless with the introduction of iOS 8.

Read More via Quartz via TheVerge

iOS 8 Randomizes Your MAC Address When Searching for Wi-Fi to Prevent Location Tracking


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Comments (6)
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1
Great!
Great! - June 9, 2014 at 5:04pm
Isn't it obvious what's next? Samsung copies. Thanks for the lead in!
DarkSide
DarkSide - June 12, 2014 at 5:05am
No thanks, my Samsung phone doesn't need to mask it's mac address. My wifi automatically turns off when I leave my house. Apple is only implementing that feature because they don't profit from other companies using your info.
DarkSide
DarkSide - June 12, 2014 at 5:06am
But they will with ibeacon.
1
rahilxx98
rahilxx98 - June 9, 2014 at 4:33pm
Great news! Thanks Apple.
1
Great!
Great! - June 9, 2014 at 4:09pm
That's innovation right there!
2
M!Do Space
M!Do Space - June 9, 2014 at 3:55pm
I believe this is the best feature yet.
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