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iOS 8 strikes an unexpected blow against location tracking


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#1 OFFLINE   LilBambi

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 07:42 PM

iOS 8 strikes an unexpected blow against location tracking - TheVerge

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It wasn't touted onstage, but a new iOS 8 feature is set to cause havoc for location trackers, and score a major win for privacy. As spotted by Frederic Jacobs, the changes have to do with the MAC address used to identify devices within networks. When iOS 8 devices look for a connection, they randomize that address, effectively disguising any trace of the real device until it decides to connect to a network.

...

As The New York Times reported last summer, shops from Nordstrom's to JC Penney have tried out the system. (London even tried out a system using public trash cans.) The system 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.

I will be one of the first to upgrade asap to iOS 8. This is a huge win for privacy! One that I have been looking for for a long time! Thank you Apple!

Can't wait till every other device does the same thing; not just iPhones, but all phones and all tablets, all laptops, etc. that have been a part of this.

This is not their information nor is it their 'right' to have access to it.

Thank you Adam for posting this article on twitter.com/ross549!
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#2 OFFLINE   ebrke

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 08:17 PM

Where Apple goes, the rest may well follow.  Fingers crossed.
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#3 OFFLINE   ross549

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 08:41 PM

I certainly hope so. :)
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#4 OFFLINE   LilBambi

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 09:24 PM

Me too!
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#5 ONLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 11:34 PM

Yeah well Apple likes to keep all the user's data for themselves.
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#6 OFFLINE   crp

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 12:46 AM

View Postsecuritybreach, on 11 June 2014 - 11:34 PM, said:

Yeah well Apple likes to keep all the user's data for themselves.
which is okay as the user signed up for it.
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. ~C. S. Lewis

#7 ONLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 12:47 AM

Another reason why I will always be against all things Apple. Except for Woz as he is awesome!!
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#8 ONLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 12:56 AM

It sounds great until you realize that this is only for Wifi connections.

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Changing the mac address to something random only would essentially be the same thing as never joining a wireless network, or having wifi turned off.
Your IMEI/MEID is still static, and stores can and do create private 3g/4g networks within their stores and can still track you the same way any rouge governmental agency can.

http://www.reddit.co...ainst_location/
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#9 OFFLINE   LilBambi

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 07:25 AM

I think it is great that Apple has taken the lead here. I hope Android follows in their footsteps in this.

It is a great boon for privacy and no one's animosity against proprietary should detract from that simple fact.

Wireless only or not, it's much better than it was before. And the real dangers at this point to privacy and security are more from wifi networks; especially from this snake in the grass group that thinks they have a right to our data.

Edited by LilBambi, 12 June 2014 - 07:26 AM.

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#10 OFFLINE   crp

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 07:39 AM

View Postsecuritybreach, on 12 June 2014 - 12:56 AM, said:

It sounds great until you realize that this is only for Wifi connections.
[/size]
http://www.reddit.co...ainst_location/
as some one who does LAN admin work, i would not want to imagine the headaches that would be caused by router switches trying to figure out who had the MAC now. And don't forget LAN traffic is usually streaming when in use, not staccato like WiFi.
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. ~C. S. Lewis

#11 OFFLINE   ross549

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 09:16 AM

View Postcrp, on 12 June 2014 - 07:39 AM, said:

as some one who does LAN admin work, i would not want to imagine the headaches that would be caused by router switches trying to figure out who had the MAC now.

To be clear, the MAC is randomized upon creating the connection. It does not change while the connection is active. This would be precisely zero burden on a router/DHCP server.
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#12 OFFLINE   ross549

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 09:20 AM

View Postsecuritybreach, on 12 June 2014 - 12:56 AM, said:

It sounds great until you realize that this is only for Wifi connections.

Yes your IMEI is very static, as it identifies the device to the cellular provider. However, I really don't think stores are positioning full 3g/4g relay stations within the building. They normally have repeaters which amplify the signal within the building so the customer can receive calls, etc. while shopping.

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#13 ONLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 09:55 AM

View Postross549, on 12 June 2014 - 09:20 AM, said:

Yes your IMEI is very static, as it identifies the device to the cellular provider. However, I really don't think stores are positioning full 3g/4g relay stations within the building. They normally have repeaters which amplify the signal within the building so the customer can receive calls, etc. while shopping.

Adam

Ah ok, I did not realize that
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#14 OFFLINE   ebrke

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 04:41 PM

An enlightening article about data leakage from phone apps and websites:
http://arstechnica.c...ternet-traffic/
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#15 OFFLINE   Capt.Crow

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 04:59 PM

TRacking......... Well it only has its ups and downs .
.
Upside :- it's nice to know where your kids are if they are out really late.
It would be good if you could really pinpoint your stolen phone.

Downside:- everything else .
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#16 OFFLINE   LilBambi

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Posted 14 June 2014 - 10:54 AM

Even the upsides have downsides.

Nice to know where your kids are means you are conditioning them to be tracked and making surveillance 'acceptable' to them. Dangerous.

Good to pinpoint your stolen phone (more important to wipe it) ... sure good. Wonder where the downside is there....will leave that up to you.
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#17 OFFLINE   Capt.Crow

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Posted 14 June 2014 - 06:55 PM

Conditioning ___|>Not really . The girls like the "security" . The boys just want to know who nicked their phone.
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#18 OFFLINE   ross549

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 03:08 PM

The Find my iPhone functionality along with Activation Lock has actually resulted in a significant drop in iPhone theft in some US cities that compile that sort of statistical data.

Conditioning I would argue is a very harsh term. Since the beginning, the Internet has NOT been private. The ability to track users has always existed. And for that matter, users were able to be tracked before the internet. I don't think having a child's device be tracked is a conditioning thing. It's just common sense since the devices are expensive.

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