IP addresses, string of numbers that identify computers on the Internet, should generally be regarded as personal information.
This quote comes from Peter Scharr, who leads an EU report preparation on how well privacy policies of search engines comply with EU privacy law. On monday, he told the EU parliament in a 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.“
That means that every single log file that is generated by any form of server that cointains IP addresses becomes “protected information” and has to be stored in accordance with EU privacy directives.
Although I understand _why_ an IP is regarded as personal information - AOL publishing it’s users search histories and the stories build with these are telling enough - it somehow feels as ‘over the top’ to me. But then again, I must admit, I’m rather not-carefull as it comes to personal data and the internet.
Oh, and girls, guys and avies, did you know when connecting to a media or audio stream in Second Life, the server those files are hosted on can easily - and probably will - log your IP address? Or that this blogs logs IP addresses with comments, so if you’ve left a few comments and did not use a proxy server, I can take a wild but rather correct shot at where on planet earth your human resides?
What do you think? Will you stop logging IP addresses of commenters on your blogs? Do you already use a proxy whenever surfing the web? Is an IP address private data and should it fall under and thus be protected by Privacy Laws? Or is an IP just a random gathering of numbers and dots? ;)