While you bask in the glow of your new Retina display today, here’s a piece
discussing how Apple devices broadcast MAC addresses of wireless access
points that they’ve recently seen. This is bad because MAC addresses are easily
mapped back to physical locations using services like Skyhook or the
other databases managed by Google and Microsoft. If you leave your iPhone WiFi
antenna on, you’re potentially broadcasting the general geography you’ve been
The article is frustratingly sparse on details, given its “convenience vs.
security” rant. I’m disappointed at this MAC address broadcasting myself, but
if we’re going to start discussing security tradeoffs then I’d like to know
more about what problem Apple thinks they are solving by broadcasting these
Is this really about convenience vs. security? Or a lazy security hole that
Apple should patch?
Randy Beiter shot me a plausible reason why devices might want to
share MAC addresses. Thanks Randy!
@jonathanpenn I can dream up Bonjour/0 config use cases that suggest AP’s
to your other devices but overall it’s a pretty scary/dumb idea.