MAC Randomization is a new feature released in iOS version 14 for iPhones and iPads and in Apple WatchOS 7. It has been a feature in Android 10 for over a year now.
MAC Randomization creates a random MAC address when joining a Wi-Fi network for the first time or after “forgetting” and rejoining a Wi-Fi network. It Generates a new random MAC address after 24 hours of last connection.
A MAC address is a hard coded unique identifier assigned to all devices, such as smartphones, computers, and tablets, that connect to a network.
Using a random MAC address is a great way to improve your device’s privacy, particularly when connecting to networks outside of the home. Many retailers use your MAC address to build profiles about you using your device’s MAC address. MAC Randomization prevents this from happening because it changes your MAC address each time you connect to a Wi-Fi access point.
However, there are some limitations as it relates to your in-home Wi-Fi network using the HomePass® app. There are certain features within the HomePass® app that rely on your device’s hard coded MAC address to function properly. This includes device history, profiles and policies and Plume Sense™ the motion detection feature within the app. If you are experiencing issues with these features, it may be a result of MAC Randomization.
In order to optimize your HomePass® app features, you can disable MAC Randomization in your device’s Wi-Fi settings. It is done on a per SSID basis so you can turn off the randomization for your home SSID but allow it to function for hotspots outside of your home.
For details on how to disable MAC Randomization visit this support article.