COVID-19 Fact Checks

FALSE: Vaccinated people can be detected by Bluetooth

Rappler.com
FALSE: Vaccinated people can be detected by Bluetooth
The detected codes shown in the video are consistent with the formatting of MAC addresses, which are used for Bluetooth
At a glance
  • Claim: Bluetooth can detect vaccinated individuals.
  • Rating: FALSE
  • The facts: The video does not prove that Bluetooth can detect vaccinated individuals. The detected codes shown in the video are consistent with the formatting of Media Access Control (MAC) addresses, which are used for Bluetooth.
  • Why we fact-checked this: This claim was flagged by Claim Check, Facebook’s tool that monitors dubious content on the platform.
Complete details

A video shows a person claiming that his device is detecting vaccinated people through Bluetooth. In the video, the person shows codes detected by a phone’s Bluetooth as he walks around.

The 3-minute video was captioned, “Attention sa mga BAKUNADO wla na kaung ligtas kahit saan kau magtago ma detect na kau e try nyo mismo sa sarili nyo e Bluetooth nyo sarili nyo kung anu code nyo yan ang hnd nakikita sa physical mung mata pero sa device ng demonyo makikita kau.”

(Attention to all vaccinated people, you are not safe, anywhere you hide you will be detected. Try it on yourself, Bluetooth yourself and you will see your code that the physical eye cannot see but the devil’s device can see.)

This claim is false.

Bluetooth enables “short-range wireless communication between electronic devices,” as defined by Britannica.

The format of the codes – six groups of two hexadecimal digits separated by colons – detected by the person’s phone via Bluetooth is consistent with that of a Media Access Control (MAC) address, a unique identifier for hardware devices. 

According to the PCMag Encyclopedia, smartphones have unique MAC addresses for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Network interface card (NIC) manufacturers may purchase an Organizationally Unique Identifier, which would be the first six hexadecimal digits of MAC addresses of their NICs.

The video showed two codes – the first, “9C:5F:5A,” then “B8:C7:4A” – both registered under Guangdong Oppo Mobile Telecommunications. Another started with “44:46:87,” which is registered under Realme Chongqing MobileTelecommunications, and another with “9C:2F:4E,” which is listed under ZTE Corporation.

Rappler had previously debunked claims that say vaccines contain microchips or are “barcodes for life.”

Similar claims linking vaccines to Bluetooth have been fact-checked and rated false by Full Fact, Myth Detector, Reuters, and USA Today. – Loreben Tuquero/Rappler.com

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