Big Brother is watching you

Some of the tech press has been reporting recently that owners of iPhones are being tracked – automatically, and without the ability to disable the function. It turns out to be true, but with sufficiently low accuracy that its not really an issue – except the principle.

What I’ve found more interesting – and more confusing because I can’t see the value – is that Google knows where I am. More precisely, Google knows where my wireless router is.

Every bit of computer kit has a MAC address – and wireless routers both have one and transmit it (even if they are set up encrypted). To get the MAC address for your router (Windows) open up a command window and type “arp -a”.

Then go to and input that address. I did – and you can see the result for yourself by going to – that’s pretty accurate.

What Google (or anyone else) is going to do with that, I don’t know – but it just goes to show that you can’t hide …


Cambridgeshire County Council employee; Geographic Information Sytems Manager. Impington (Cambridge) Parish Councillor; Chairman, Webmaster et al. Archer (longbow, recurve). Married to Jan, father of Ben

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Any views and opinions expressed herein are my own personal views & opinions and do not represent those of my employer, or the Parish Council, in any way

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