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iOS8 randomises MAC address: is it the beginning of the end for WiFi tracking?

It has been confirmed that iOS8 will randomise the WiFi Media Access Code (MAC) address of the world’s most popular mobile devices when searching for access points, only switching to the real hardware identifier when the user actually decides to connect.

In a move to placate civil liberty concerns it will most likely be followed by the other major mobile device manufacturers, this will make all Apple devices increasingly untrackable by WiFi sensors used by airports to track passenger flow.

ios8-randomises-MACWiFi tracking has been implemented in numerous airports, but this is an avoidable problem. Caught in a cycle of continuous investment, airports are chasing the technology as it changes and develops and let’s face it there are some very big technology players out there who need continuous technology refresh to keep shareholder value growing.

Further, device manufacturers, content and technology providers are effectively creating additional de facto standards to capture market share further preventing the tracking of devices.

When it comes to tracking the flow of passengers, the best way to do it is to track the passenger, not be reliant on a rapid changing consumer device you have no control over.

Over the last ten years airports have increasingly deployed facial recognition as it has proven its ability to accurately capture and track passengers through the airport.

The intrinsic advantage that face recognition has for passenger tracking is simple – People always travel with their face.


To learn more about why you should measure the flow of passengers through your airports, download our white paper or call us on +44 (0)333 456 2001. Alternatively contact us today.

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