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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: 2) by urza9814 on Thursday June 12 2014, @01:45PM

    by urza9814 (3954) on Thursday June 12 2014, @01:45PM (#54589) Journal

    Yeah, I do the same. 8 hours a day at the office with no wifi, plus an hour total commute, when I'm home I'm mostly on my laptop not the phone. So why the heck would I *ever* turn on wifi? Plus my notifications work much better from the cell network since they don't have to navigate through multiple NAT layers. And usually even with fairly heavy usage I can get 20 hours from a full charge so that's more than enough.

    Although...on my old phone (Galaxy S3) at least I noticed the wifi liked to turn itself back on all the time. I'd keep turning it off, then an hour or two later it would be on again! Not sure if my new one has been doing that too; haven't had it long enough to notice. I think it might have been this stupid battery saving app I had installed though. So much for that. Sometimes I really do wish these damn things had a 'permanently disable wifi' option though...a hardware switch for it would be fantastic.

    And bluetooth...I've never once enabled that on any device I've ever owned. Never found a use for it. If given the option I'd much prefer a device without any bluetooth capability.

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