[LINK] MAC addresses on public wifi

Chris Maltby chris at sw.oz.au
Sat Jul 17 16:24:48 AEST 2010

On Sat, Jul 17, 2010 at 01:52:53PM +1000, Craig Sanders wrote:
> a MAC address is not really a unique or fixed identifier because it
> can easily be faked. it's good enough for technical purposes (such as
> connecting to a network), but not IMO for legal purposes - the fact that
> it's easily changed means there's more than enough reasonable doubt for
> a MAC address to be suitable even for identifying a device, let alone a
> person.

Craig is right about the issues of using a MAC address to identify someone.
But it's also worth noting that the recommended use of IPv6 in these kinds
of environments will result in the MAC address of the device embedded in
the network local IPv6 address assigned to the device. So at least it will
one day show up in message headers too, where the same lack of conclusions
as to its veracity can be drawn.


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