Re: [perpass] privacy implications of UUIDs for IoT devices

"John Levine" <johnl@taugh.com> Thu, 06 October 2016 02:44 UTC

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Date: 6 Oct 2016 02:43:45 -0000
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From: "John Levine" <johnl@taugh.com>
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Cc: dthaler@microsoft.com
Subject: Re: [perpass] privacy implications of UUIDs for IoT devices
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In article <CY1PR03MB2265659F67817DF02F3FCF29A3C70@CY1PR03MB2265.namprd03.prod.outlook.com>; you write:
>The issue with IEEE MAC's is that it's sent to untrusted observers, not that it is a stable identifier per se.
>It just so happens that you typically don't have a choice but to send it in packets such that it can be observed
>by untrusted observers, hence the need to use randomized MACs.

It's not just that, it's that MACs have a structure and there's a
registry of prefixes so you can look at a MAC and know who the
manufacturer is and usually what kind of device it is.  For example,
prefix 2C-BE-08 is Apple, and anything with that prefix is probably a
Macbook.

If the unique ID is a version 4 UUID with no structure, I'd think
those particular problems would go away.  There may well still be
stuff you can derive from knowing that this device now is the same
as that device then.

R's,
John