The IT Law Wiki


A MAC address (Media Access Control address) (also known as the hardware address or ethernet address) is

a unique identifier specific to the network card inside a computer. Allows the DHCP server to confirm that the computer is allowed to access the network. MAC addresses are written as XX–XX–XX–XX–XX–XX, where the Xs represent the digits or letters from A to F.[1]


A MAC address is unique to each network device on a computer — no two computers will have the same MAC address. Computers having more than one network card (e.g., one for wireless and one for wired) will have one MAC address for each network card.[2]

Any device that is enabled with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity has such a MAC address — one for each wireless interface installed. For example, smartphones, personal fitness devices, and many wearable computing devices are enabled with wireless connectivity and thus have their own MAC addresses.[3]


  1. Electronic Crime Scene Investigation: A Guide for First Responders, at 56. The characters used in MAC addresses are hexadecimal digits, which are base-16 numbers represented by the values 0–9 and A–F.
  2. Id.
  3. Building Privacy Into Mobile Location Analytics (MLA) Through Privacy by Design, at 2.