Hi Dana, I do appreciate your taking the time to explain this to me. Let me see if I have it correct this time:
CASE 1 (home ISP): In the case of a home ISP, where I have to log in with a user name and a password from a dedicated account, changing the MAC address provides absolutely no additional privacy since the ISP knows the MAC address used, even if it is 00-00-00-00-00-00.
CASE 2 (NetZero dialup): Even in the case of NetZero dialup, there may not be an additional level of privacy gained by changing the MAC address because you have to first establish an account with NetZero which requires a previous account which will have your original MAC address associated with it - which can always be traced back to you by your ISP.
CASE 3 (hotel free hotspot): However, in the case of a hotel freebie hotspot, changing the MAC address to 00-00-00-00-00-00 DOES PROVIDE AN EXTRA LEVEL OF PRIVACY because in this case, the MAC address is the only factor they have in tracing the connection back to you.
Did I summarize the implications of changing the MAC address correctly?