Re: [Nolug] retail cell tracking via wifi and bluetooth

From: Ron Johnson <>
Date: Tue, 24 Dec 2013 03:10:26 -0600
Message-ID: <>

Old news.

On 12/24/2013 12:21 AM, Joey Kelly wrote:
> From William B. Davis (on facebook):
> "Retailers track your smartphone when you enter their store. They track
> your movements through the store and keep a database with your unique id
> called a MAC address. Every computer has one including smartphones
> because they are networkable just like your home computer Then they can
> monitor your return trips as well. To prevent this turn off your
> Bluetooth and wifi."
> Scary indeed. I wonder how legal it is.
> My analysis:
> I hadn't considered big-box stores sniffing for bluetooth and/or wifi.
> Makes perfect sense, I guess. They might even be able to map your MAC
> address to your purchase details and thus your identity, if they're
> clever, by timing your stay at the cash register. I wonder what
> percentage of users keep those two interfaces turned on, and what kind
> of ROI the stores enjoy.
> It's also possible to track cell devices directly via their GSM or CDMA
> interface, regardless of whether bluetooth or wifi is turned on.
> Equipment to receive cell signals isn't COTS by any means, and the risk
> of getting sued by providers or fined by the FCC is much greater than
> just recording wifi MAC addresses, since cell transmissions are licensed
> and highly regulated, whereas bluetooth and wifi live in unlicensed
> spectrum.

This signature doesn't kill fascists.
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