Bluetooth headphones can track the wearer. This was the “very alarming” conclusion of a Norwegian student riding through Oslo to examine signals from various gadgets.

Bjorn Hegnes was a student in network security and IT security at Norway’s Norof University. He collected approximately 2 million Bluetooth messages over his 300-kilometer (186 mile) journey. He discovered over 9,000 Bluetooth transmitters and 129 headsets. This enabled the student to compare signals from more than a dozen headphones.

Hegnes found that none of the headphones he tested had a security feature called media access control (MAC). Address randomization.

Because it is a unique identifier that appears on a network, a MAC address can be used for tracking a device back at its owner. Third parties could use it to establish a pattern over time of the owner’s behavior.

Hegnes’s first year research at Norof University revealed that Bluetooth technology is susceptible to surveillance and tracking.

Hegnes stated in his paper that “this report goes through WiFi and Bluetooth vulnerabilities in terms of privacy. Hegnes noted in his paper, “This report goes through the vulnerabilities of WiFi and Bluetooth in terms of privacy, i.e., location monitoring from third parties without the user’s consent.”

Hegnes rode his bike through Oslo for 12 days. The first few were to test the equipment. His kit included a Raspberry Pi, an Omni-Directional Wi-Fi Antenna that can pick up Bluetooth signals up to 100m away and a USB GPS device that could identify locations.

Also Read: 9,000-Year-Old Burial Site Includes Some of Humanity’s First Beer

Since “wardriving” refers to gaining unauthorized access to WiFi networks, the student referred the effort as “Operation Wardrive”. It covered approximately 20% of Oslo’s total area and was focused on the Ring 3 district.

Hegnes’ analysis suggests that tracking someone’s movements using a Bluetooth headset is easier than with a smartphone. There are many businesses. This is a simplified version of the information.