A team of engineers at the University of California San Diego has demonstrated for the first time that the Bluetooth signals emitted constantly by our mobile phones have a unique fingerprint that can be used to track individuals’ movements.
Mobile devices, including phones, smartwatches and fitness trackers, constantly transmit signals, known as Bluetooth beacons, at the rate of roughly 500 beacons per minute.These beacons enable features like Apple’s “Find My” lost device tracking service; COVID-19 tracing apps; and connect smartphones to other devices such as wireless earphones.
Image: Researchers tested their method to track Bluetooth fingerprints on campus. They use an off-the-shelf device to track and identify devices. CREDIT: University of California San Diego