Chainfire’s Pry-Fi prevents Wi-Fi based location tracking and data mining

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 2 Feb 2014


Recently, there has been quite an uproar about the breach of privacy in the technology world. According to Chainfire, the developer of SuperSU and other popular apps on the Play Store, it is very much possible for the government, crooks and shady individuals to track your location and other data using the Wi-Fi radio on your phone.

As per Chainfire’s explanation on this Google+ post, the Wi-Fi radios in our phone broadcast information about our location and usage habits, which can wreak havoc if the data falls into some malicious hands.

Now, to save your precious data from falling into malicious hands, Chainfire has released a proof of concept app — Pry-Fi — that automatically randomises the MAC address to prevent trackers from determining your location and other data. The app allows users to keep the Wi-Fi on their device in an always-on state without worrying about anyone tracking their location or stealing their data.

Pry-Fi will prevent your device from announcing all the networks it knows to the outside world, but it will still allow background scanning and automatically connecting to Wi-Fi networks. While you are not connected to a Wi-Fi network, the MAC address will constantly be pseudo-randomized, following a pattern that still makes the trackers think you are a real person, but they will not encounter your MAC address again. This will slowly poison their tracking database with useless information.

Keep in mind that Pry-Fi is in a proof-0f-concept stage right now but is worth a shot if you are paranoid about the government and others smart and shady individuals tracking you.

Pry-Fi can be downloaded for free from the Play Store but requires root access to work properly.