So how does Find My Mac really work?

wackymacky

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Sep 20, 2007
1,528
43
38°39′20″N 27°13′10″W
So how does Find My Mac really work?

i know it needs WiFi on and, as the Apple site says, "be in range of a known WiFi network", but that doesn't explain it.

It pinpoints my computers location down to the exact house we're in.

The only WiFi networks in rage are my private one and my neighbour which is secure, so it must be using my wifi network, but how?

Is it using the infamous WiFi network sweep that Google collected when they were making Google Map street view, (but that wouldn't point to the exact house)

Is it using the GPS location that is provided to Apple by my iPhone from when it was connected all the wifi networks it connects to as locations?.

Or does the Mac provide the ISP and wifi address when your connected to the internet and maps Wifi networks like this.

I like most don't read all the pages of terms and conditions when I booted up my Mac for the first time, but the privacy implications of all these possibilities seem quite significant.

(Apple obviously hade mapped the wifi network before I used Find My Mac)
 

wackymacky

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Sep 20, 2007
1,528
43
38°39′20″N 27°13′10″W
Yes, but my WiFi network is secure, so, to my knowledge only my Mac has used it (+ my phone and apple TV).

My Mac doesn't have GPS.

So the location of my Mac must come from the fact that my phone has provided apple its location when connected to my wifi? No?

My geographic location is such that not any tom-dick-or harry could drive (within 500 metres) past my house with a wifi scanner without being, shall we say, noticed
 

miles01110

macrumors Core
Jul 24, 2006
19,261
31
The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
Yes, but my WiFi network is secure
Which doesn't mean anything in the context of the discussion. Your wireless access point is still broadcasting information that has been recorded by Skyhook.

My geographic location is such that not any tom-dick-or harry could drive (within 500 metres) past my house with a wifi scanner without being, shall we say, noticed
A wifi scanner can be a cell phone. You notice every single cell phone that passes within 500 meters of your house? I doubt it.
 

wackymacky

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Sep 20, 2007
1,528
43
38°39′20″N 27°13′10″W
Which doesn't mean anything in the context of the discussion. Your wireless access point is still broadcasting information that has been recorded by Skyhook.



A wifi scanner can be a cell phone. You notice every single cell phone that passes within 500 meters of your house? I doubt it.

By the nature of my location, the only cell phones that can come within 500m rage of my wifi are ones that enter through my gate onto my property (ie mine or my family) or are bought over a fence on foot with out my knowledge.

which i guess answers my question. my own phone must have provided the wifi's location
 
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