IOS8 randomising their MAC address

Currently when most wireless devices look for wireless networks, they reveal their fixed MAC address. This is used by a lot of location tracking packages to identify this device uniquely on the network and track its location and movements. For example, if a package wants to know how often a user with a specific device visits a certain store, all it needs to do is search its recorded history for how often this MAC address is discovered on the network.

With the release of iOS 8 however, apple devices will now offer the option for users to randomise their MAC address and thus hide their identity. This now means that on every visit to a location, a different MAC address may be detected and recorded. The device is no longer trackable!

That said, once the user associate to the network, their true MAC address is revealed and if they associate every time (e.g they connect once and the device remembers the network an auto connects on each return visit) then they are once again trackable.

With the market share of Apple devices being so large, this will have a real big impact on packages using this technology. However Apple have their own iBeacon product which will no doubt will somehow have a way to see through the MAC spoofing and give them a competitive advantage in the location tracking market.

Well played Apple!