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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: 3, Informative) by frojack on Wednesday June 11 2014, @05:26PM

    by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 11 2014, @05:26PM (#54228) Journal

    Yeah, probably you are one of the few that bothers.

    First, having wifi and bluetooth on (Note: this story doesn't mention changing the bluetooth Mac), really doesn't cost that much in terms of battery. Using wifi SAVES battery, because it takes less battery to power a radio that can only reach 30 meters than it does to power one that can reach 10 miles.

    If you are NOT using it, wifi takes little power, and by lighting up the screen for 20 seconds to turn wifi off/on, you waste more battery than you save just walking down the street.

    If you will be out for the day, it might make a difference. But I guarantee you, that an *honest* test will reveal that turning off wifi will not extend your one day battery to three days.

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