Your unique mobile device WiFi MAC addresses as well as your Bluetooth unique address can give away enough information to identify you and track your location in public spaces even if you don't establish a connection. There are various security concerns about this. For example in the article


there is a discussion about the Dublin airport using such information to track queues, which however could be misused by authorities to track individuals. The same applies to other public spaces like Shopping Malls etc.

Since this tracking would be mostly passive could there be a way to know that you are being tracked by signals your WiFi or Bluetooth are emitting?

  • 4
    By definition "passive" means "fiendishly difficult to discover". If you are emitting the signals, they can be tracked; if you are worried about being tracked, don't emit the signals. The only way you can detect a passive intercept is to emit false signals and force the detection into an observable management condition - which for broadcast signals is going to be both anti-social, and make it very easy to detect & track you. (xkcd is the source for security explanations)
    – MCW
    Nov 10, 2015 at 13:54

1 Answer 1


I don't think there is anyway you could know that it is being tracked. If you have Bluetooth and/or WiFi turned on, you would have to assume that it is possible that they can be tracked.

If this is an issue for you, the only solution is to turn off Bluetooth and WiFi in public spaces.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .