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Privacy Cellphones Wireless Networking Your Rights Online

Have a Wi-Fi-Enabled Phone? Stores Are Tracking You 323

jfruh writes "Call it Google Analytics for physical storefronts: if you've got a phone with wi-fi, stores can detect your MAC address and track your comings and goings, determining which aisles you go to and whether you're a repeat customer. The creator of one of the most popular tracking software packages says that the addresses are hashed and not personally identifiable, but it might make you think twice about leaving your phone on when you head to the mall."
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Have a Wi-Fi-Enabled Phone? Stores Are Tracking You

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @07:47PM (#42662955)

    Some people say it's time to turn off wifi.

    Not me. I can't wait to hack the o/s to absolutely fuck with this as hard as I can. I hope the phone's drivers support messing with signal and power level.

    I've done it with wardriving, I've done it with my laptop before connecting to any type of wireless point. I've even done it with wireless on my desktop, spoofing a specific authorized mac address of a piece of hardware I no longer own so I didn't have to log in to my access point and add it to the authorized list.

    I'll sniff for MAC addresses, I'll fake them, spoof them, build in a list of different hardware vendors. You'll see the same person in two different isles. You'll see 5000 people enter the store as I cycle through and sequential addresses as fast as I can for five minutes.

    The analytics person is going to have so much fun. 0xdeadbeefbabe all over the place.

    Sure, they'll filter me out. Or notice me as one oddball. But soonr or later those stats are going to get mass corrupted because it's my radio and I can broadcast anything I want as long as it's in FCC regs.

    To whoever it is that'll be debugging that... i'm 20% sorry in advance, and 80% amused at the thought of the hair pulling this is going to cause.

  • by JustOK ( 667959 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @08:25PM (#42663411) Journal

    From signature:

    I'm not that concerned with Karma, I post when I think I have something to add

    How does the equivalent of "mod parent up" add to the discussion? The parent is at +5, but I doubt people just blindly follow what some random person says it should be modded to.

    So true. mod this up!

  • by Jafafa Hots ( 580169 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @08:36PM (#42663543) Homepage Journal

    Me, I leave my cell phone at home.
    First, I never have a problem with the battery running out during a call...
    Plus I never have calls come in at inconvenient times.
    Also, I don't have to remember to shut it off in movie theaters and doctor's offices.

    These advantages are so great, I'm thinking of inventing a cell phone that can't be taken from your home. Maybe use some kind of tether.

  • by Falkentyne ( 760418 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @08:55PM (#42663769) Homepage

    Mod child up! Won't someone think of the children?

  • by Abstrackt ( 609015 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @10:55PM (#42664831)

    So true. mod this up!


  • by Chuck Chunder ( 21021 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @12:36AM (#42665629) Homepage Journal

    Do you operate purely on cash?

    Of course not, he clearly operates purely on sarcasm.

Love may laugh at locksmiths, but he has a profound respect for money bags. -- Sidney Paternoster, "The Folly of the Wise"