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Location API and randomized MAC addresses

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Location API and randomized MAC addresses

 

Most of the modern smartphones, either with IOs or Android, adopt a privacy protection mechanism that uses a "randomized" MAC address during the probing phase, when they aren't associated with the AP yet.

 

Do the Meraki Location APIs include in the stream also the probed clients with a randomized MAC address?

When the client is connected, do the Location APIs consider only the probe messages or also other control-plane messages?

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Re: Location API and randomized MAC addresses

Meraki's Scanning API does not send so-called randomized mac addresses (MAC addresses with the locally-administered bit set).

 

Cisco MSE/CMX provides an option to enable to disable sending locally-administered MAC addresses, but Meraki does not provide such an option.

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Re: Location API and randomized MAC addresses

I have a question regarding this topic. I wonder if Meraki APs can capture real MAC addresses of devices which use randomized mac addresses and while they are not connected to APs yet?

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Re: Location API and randomized MAC addresses

I can't imagine that there's any way to capture the real wireless MAC address of a device probing with a locally administered MAC address until the device associates to the SSID.

 

The entire reason why some devices use random/locally administered MAC addresses when probing is to prevent device tracking by access points.

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Re: Location API and randomized MAC addresses

There is some research in this area which shows the real mac address can be captured even if the device uses randomized mac address.

 

Let me ask my question in another way, right now IOS is using randomization. As you said, Meraki APs cannot capture the real mac address of IOS devices while the device is not associated, right? So why in raw data collected by a Meraki AP there are so many IOS devices (with null SSID )?

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Re: Location API and randomized MAC addresses

Hello, you will find both real and un-real mac address... imposible to distinguish between them... sorry. The only solution is to use Seeketing Nodes.

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Re: Location API and randomized MAC addresses

Let me to share my knowledge and experience with you... because it is incredible that there is no detailed information in Cisco documentation and forum about this important issue (the most important for the KPI results and for our clients at least)

All smartphones with less than 4 years never send their real mac address when they are not connected to a Wifi network.Mac randomization it is not only related with iphones.

Android, iOS, Windows and Linux operative Systems have implemented in the recent versions with very different approaches. Only one iphone could emit 40 different random macs during the visit to a store, or hundreds of different androids could use the same mac in the same moment, and many other techniques are being used, even they are using real mac of real vendors... so  it is imposible for a cisco AP or router to know the real mac address of any smarphone not connected to the wifi. CMX or Merak solution or any other provider (ArubaNetworks, etc..) can not filter the un-real Mac addresses, basically because it is too complex and the random schemes are different and changing constantly in any version of android, iphone, etc..

 

This is the reason because loyalty is false, strange data appears, flows and year by year comparation is imposible, etc... effects that make that cisco meraki cmx could not be used as professional solution for flow, behaviour analytics. They only professional solution you can use that can deal with the random macs is Seeketing technology. They have more than six year of experience with big projects (airport, shopping center, system transportation, retails, etc...). Seeketing technology is was the first tool in the world in 2011 providing not only offline behaviour, even online and simultaneous offline tracking user by user. You can send message by proximity using whatsapp, sms, email, push (with our without an App) and even you can change the content of screens depending on people behaviour in the store or in the ecommerce.

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