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Its known that either Skyhook or Google procured the wireless access points mac address while roaming around.
I am curious how the MAC addresses were procured, as this does not seem to be easy to do!
MAC address is used only on the local network and falls in the datalink layer of OSI network model.
Now outside of such wifi point only ip packets are seen and the mac addresses are completely concealed.

Thank you.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

The MAC address is present in every packet send. Either Wireless or Wired.

For wired they do not pass beyond a router.

For wireless the point 'up to a router' is the range of the wireless signal. Those are very easy to intercept and will be present in almost any packet.

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oh I see, in the case of wireless access; the packets are broadcasted as they cannot directly send to the router. What other info can be intercepted and how legal is it? – vihari Sep 30 '13 at 9:07
What is legal varies per country. But if you start yelling things in your front garden or inside the house with open windows then it will be hard to forbid people on the street from hearing that. And with wireless you are broadcasting. Thus I assume receiving that information is legal in most places. – Hennes Sep 30 '13 at 9:35

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