Tuesday, January 22, 2008

IP Address is Personal Information, EU Says.

When I read this Washington post article, I said yes. People have been using IP Addresses in their daily use and it is personal information. I have had the same IP range since 1990's and it has really become a part of my information. Way to go EU.

BRUSSELS -- IP addresses, strings of numbers that identify computers on the Internet, should generally be regarded as personal information, the head of the European Union's group of data privacy regulators said Monday.

Germany's data-protection commissioner, Peter Scharr, leads the E.U. group, which is preparing a report on how well the privacy policies of Internet search engines operated by Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and others comply with E.U. privacy law.

Scharr told a European Parliament hearing on online data protection that when someone is identified by an IP, or Internet protocol, address, "then it has to be regarded as personal data."

His view differs from that of Google, which insists an IP address merely identifies the location of a computer, not who the individual user is. That is true but does not take into consideration that many people regularly use the same computer and IP address.

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1 comment:

Ben Wright said...

Even if it is normally illegal for a citizen to record or process data such as an IP address, there might be rare situations where the citizen is legally justified.