FP3 - Android 10 - MAC Randomization

Well Android 10 has landed and I can’t find the long awaited MAC Randomization option.

Any idea on how to be able to use this privacy feature on the Fairphone 3?


Hi Joe,

I do not see the option either. Maybe

Devices running Android 9 or lower might not have support for Wi-Fi MAC randomization. When upgrading such devices to Android 10, the Wi-Fi MAC randomization feature can be disabled by setting the WIFI_HIDL_FEATURE_DISABLE_AP_MAC_RANDOMIZATION flag to true in the Wi-Fi vendor HAL make file.

the abovementioned flag has been set by Fairphone’s manufacturing partner? My technical skills are not sufficient to find this out for myself.


Yes, this could be the reason. :face_with_monocle: (awaiting confirmation)

Always good to have the manufacturer decide what options the customer need to have disabled :see_no_evil:

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According to this post #53916 it should have been already available in the Developer options for Android 9.

Well, if I get the quote by @teezeh correct, it is not a decision by the manufacturer, but a lack of support for this feature. And that would be some hardware problem. So the possibility to disable this feature in Android 10 would only be an adjustment to reality.
If it would not be disabled, one would expect this feature to work and wonder why it does not, if the hardware is not supporting it. Therfore disabeling the feature is the consistent solution.

Still: This is just my understanding of the quote and I might have got it totally wrong, and your assumption is correct. I am no techie and therefore stand happily to be corrected.

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Should, indeed. But since this a community forum, all we can do is speculate. Please open a ticket with Fairphone Support and keep us posted with whatever their reply is.


My understanding is, it will spoof a randomized mac address and this might be done by the software, not the hardware.

No one really seems to miss this functionality …

this is sad … in a world where no one has anything to hide :roll_eyes:

I prefer to speculate then.

This was the feature I was most looking forward to.

Def much more than the perma-blue screen. Night mode 4 lyf it is then…

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A MAC address is a hardware feature, and you need support from the hardware and device driver to change it.

MAC addresses are used one layer deeper than IP addresses, in the link layer of the internet stack. On computers with wired Ethernet, the link layer does not require an OS to operate. It is there, if you see the green/orange lights next to your Ethernet port being active.

For wireless connections, it of course requires some help from the OS because you need to associate to a network, but still its implementation is likely to be entirely in hardware. Or, to be exact, in the firmware running on the wifi chip or modem, which is a binary blob from Qualcomm that neither Fairphone nor Arima can modify. (Wireless firmwares tend to have a license that strictly prohibits modification because the firmware is also used to ensure the device complies with CE or FCC standards on radiation.)

So, if I’m not mistaken, Qualcomm needs to have coded the support for it into their firmware and their driver (given the driver is also distributed as a binary blob.)


Thanks for that very understandable explanation.
I thought something along that line, although in a very vague way.

I don’t know the exact details in the FP3 either to be honest. Also, my knowledge is mostly based on wifi devices in laptops. I don’t know much about 4G modems.

I do believe that phones implement even more link-level features in hardware than laptops do, because that saves power (but makes the device more complicated to manufacture,) but I don’t know whether that would affect MAC addresses.


Thx @AlbertJP for the explanations. I think there won’t be any hope to see the feature in the FP3 then :roll_eyes:

Everyone who wants this feature should open a support ticket. It’s the only way to make our wishes heard.

Link for the lazy:


Good idea, just did it :pray:

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Short update …

They have no clue and will check it with the technical department.


Another week without response. Seems to be rocket science :see_no_evil:

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Did anybody get an answer from support?

Our friends at Morena have an issue for this that was closed.

This feature is hardware dependent and FP3 is not capable of this on a hardware level.

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According to the support it will not be available anymore on the FP3(+) due to problems of some users …

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