New Apple iOS 8 feature makes it harder for marketers to track locations

Posted Jun 9, 2014

Apple has added a MAC address randomization feature in iOS 8 that makes it harder for marketers to track you on public WiFi networks, according to Frederic Jacobs on a Hacker News post. While your iPhone scans for WiFi networks, it is assigned a ?random, locally administered? MAC address, which is a constant unique identifier attached to the phone?s wireless network interface. MAC addresses help retailers and others track return visits to build a shopper profile by connecting in-store visits to purchases. Apple has a feature called iBeacons, which uses Bluetooth as an alternative method for connecting software with in-store shoppers. Apple’s technology offers more transparent privacy controls for the user so it is easier to opt out of participation.