MAC Address Device Identification for Network and Application Services

This list is for discussion of the MAC Address Device Identification for Network and Application Services (MADINAS) WG.

Major operating systems have implemented and deployed MAC Address randomization features to enhance device and user privacy, as randomization can help avoid device identification. Device identification by MAC address is often used in ways that do not invade privacy, but that provides useful services to the device user. These services include network optimization, access control, usage counting, and security and user protection services. Some examples are LAN forwarding policy, sticky DHCP IP assignments, static NAT policy and MAC address ACL for blocking malicious or unwanted devices. In those situations, the deployment of MAC address randomization results in unintended and likely unforeseen impacts to the network, systems and applications external to the device implementing randomization.

This illustrates a potential need for the networking community (OS vendors, device manufacturers, application developers and network operators) to work more closely together to solve the needs of the end users. In some cases, a greater awareness by Network and Application Services to current MAC address usage may be enough. For other cases, a new solution may need to be developed and standardized to reach the desired outcome. The MADINAS WG is interested in defining best practices, update any existing documents if needed, or potentially develop new protocols or mechanisms for service continuity in the presence of MAC Address randomization.

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