IEEE group recommends random MAC addresses for Wi-Fi security

According to new recommendations by an IEEE study group, the Wi-Fi protocol needs to be updated to use randomly generated addresses for better security and privacy.

Today, the 802.11 Wi-Fi standards are designed so that each mobile device gets its own, unique media access control (MAC) address — which allows spies, criminals, and advertisers to track mobile users.

“Because of the uniqueness of the identifier and the fact that they’re not encrypted, you can easily make a connection between the identifier and the user,” said Juan Carlos Zuniga, principal engineer at InterDigital and chair of the IEEE 802 Privacy Executive Committee Study Group.

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