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posted by janrinok on Wednesday June 11 2014, @11:53AM   Printer-friendly
from the whats-in-it-for-them? dept.

Russell Brandom reports that a new feature in iOS 8 is set to cause havoc for location trackers, and score a major win for privacy: When iOS 8 devices look for a connection, iOS 8 will randomize their MAC address, effectively disguising any trace of the real device until it decides to connect to a network. Why are iPhones checking out Wi-Fi networks in disguise? Because there's an entire industry devoted to tracking customers through that signal. Shops from Nordstrom's to JC Penney have tried out a system that automatically logs any phone within Wi-Fi range, giving stores a complete record of who walked into the shop and when. But any phone using iOS 8 will be invisible to the process, potentially calling the whole system into question. "Now that Apple has embraced MAC spoofing, the practice of Wi-Fi sniffing may stop working entirely," says Brandom. "The result is a privacy win for Apple users and a major blow against data marketing and all it took was an automatic update."

 
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  • (Score: 5, Informative) by panachocala on Wednesday June 11 2014, @02:29PM

    by panachocala (464) on Wednesday June 11 2014, @02:29PM (#54147)

    This little script gives you a new mac address every reboot. Useful for getting around the 30 minute free wifi limits at some coffee chains.

    http://excid3.com/blog/random-mac-address-on-start-up-with-ubuntu/ [excid3.com]

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