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Apple Private Wi-Fi hasn’t worked for the past three years

October 27, 2023

Three years after Apple introduced a menu setting called Private Wi-Fi Address, a way to spoof network identifiers called MAC addresses, the privacy protection may finally work as advertised, thanks to a software fix.

“To communicate with a Wi-Fi network, a device must identify itself to the network using a unique network address called a Media Access Control (MAC) address,” Apple explains in its documentation.

“If the device always uses the same Wi-Fi MAC address across all networks, network operators and other network observers can more easily relate that address to the device’s network activity and location over time. This allows a kind of user tracking or profiling, and it applies to all devices on all Wi-Fi networks.”

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