iPhones report LAN side MAC addresses back to Apple when using Wi-Fi

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Well-known member
Nov 1, 2020
This story is bad enough, about iOS and Android phoning home with assorted data even when told not to.

Android, iOS beam telemetry to Google, Apple even when you tell them not to – study

But what struck me as shocking was that iPhones reported back to Apple the MAC addresses of other devices on the LAN, when using Wi-Fi. And, when asked to comment, Apple said nothing.
Take such "warnings" with a large dose of salt... You'd prefer a device didn't collect or use any data at all, but that's not possible if you expect it to function. If you enable "find my device" functionality, for example, it probably means you'd like the cloud to actually know where your device is at all times, if you eventually expect to be able to find it later. Apple sharing nearby WiFi MACs is part of locating things... it builds up a database of where WiFi MACs have been seen, assuming they're Access Points, and thus can be used for locating things in the case where the GPS is unreliable or unavailable (and not all devices have GPS for example.)