iOS 14 feature fails as iPhones still reveal identifiable MAC despite Apple’s promises, according to a researcher.

Detailed examination of the persistent flaw within iPhone's Wi-Fi privacy feature which has led to problems over a three year period.


The user privacy of smartphones, such as iPhones, is considered a topmost priority. A crucial privacy feature for iPhones reportedly failed to function as intended for three years.

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Apple's iPhone, recognized for its data privacy efforts, comes with a feature designed to hide MAC addresses while users engage with Wi-Fi networks.

iOS 14 feature fails as iPhones still reveal identifiable MAC despite Apple’s promises, according to a researcher. ImageAlt

However, this said function has been reportedly malfunctioning for the last three years, causing headaches for consumers and cyber-safety experts alike.

Details on the Privacy Feature

Many relationships exist between smartphones and their users' data. Among these, the MAC addresses used when accessing Wi-Fi networks play a significant role.

Media Access Control (MAC) addresses are unique identifiers assigned to a network interface for communications at the data link layer in a network segment.

Originally, Apple created a privacy feature for iPhones to hide these MAC addresses during Wi-Fi interactions, increasing user privacy and protection against data tracking.

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Unfortunately, this privacy feature has not been working correctly for the past three years.

Three Years in the Dark

For an extensive amount of time—specifically, the past three years—the Wi-Fi privacy feature that hides MAC addresses on iPhones has been perpetually failing to perform its task.

This privacy function was designed to prevent tracking user activity through unique MAC addresses when the said individual was actively engaged with a Wi-Fi network.

However, the consistent malfunction over three years has exposed user data to potential threats, painting a bleak image for consumer trust and cyber security.

Moreover, this has posed significant issues for experts in digital privacy who are keen on maintaining and bolstering personal data security.

Impact on Users

Online privacy is a crucial issue, and this persistent flaw within the iPhone's Wi-Fi privacy feature has generated concern from its vast user-base.

Many heavily rely on the brand's reputation for ensuring robust data security and privacy safeguards.

This prolonged malfunction might have inadvertently allowed unwanted tracking, hence casting significant doubt on the touted security measures.

Coupled with the ever-present threat of data breaches, these doubts might lead to decreased trust in mobile security protocols and, consequently, the brand's reputation.

The Ripple Effect

The implications of malfunctioning privacy features can be severe in our increasingly digital society.

This incident is a glaring example of a leading technological company experiencing a privacy feature bug that has persisted over an unreasonably lengthy period.

This occurrence, therefore, sets a negative precedent, raising questions about the efficacy and reliability of other supposed privacy features embedded in various devices.

As consumers grow more aware and demanding of data privacy, such lapses could trigger skepticism and hesitation about the use of technology and its safeguards altogether.

Looking towards Improvement

Apple’s failure to address this ongoing issue for three years raises eyebrows, given its usual quick responsiveness to bugs and faults in their devices.

In the face of this systemic problem, functional fixes need to be made promptly to rectify this privacy feature.

The company’s history of valuing consumer privacy makes this long-standing issue surprising and urgent to correct.

Across the tech industry, such news may prompt reevaluation and double-checking of privacy features to prevent similar extended lapses.


Ultimately, the persistent failure of the iPhone's Wi-Fi privacy feature highlights the importance of consistent monitoring and revision of data security measures.

It emphasizes the necessity of company transparency and swift action in dealing with such problems.

For consumers, it is also a reminder to stay vigilant and updated about the digital safeguards supposedly defending their personal data.

As the world continues its journey into the digital era, privacy and security will, without a doubt, remain at the forefront of discussions surrounding technology advancements and user protection.