Court: IP Addresses Are Not ‘Personally Identifiable’ Information

Court: IP Addresses Are Not ‘Personally Identifiable’ Information

Court: IP Addresses Are Not ‘Personally Identifiable’ Information
Media Post
By Wendy Davis
July 6, 2009

In a ruling that could fuel debate about online privacy, a federal judge in Seattle has held that IP addresses are not personal information.

“In order for ‘personally identifiable information’ to be personally identifiable, it must identify a person. But an IP address identifies a computer,” U.S. District Court Judge Richard Jones said in a written decision…

Jules Polonetsky quoted:

Jules Polonetsky, co-chair and director of the think tank Future of Privacy Forum, adds that many sites with older privacy policies maintain that they don’t collect personally identifiable information, but log IP addresses. “For many years, people just threw around the term ‘personal information,’” he says. “They didn’t pay attention to account IDs in the hands of third parties, IP addresses — other types of information that, with some effort, could become identifiable.”

Polonetsky says that companies today are rewriting privacy policies to more carefully define their terms, adding that many in the industry now view IP addresses as more sensitive than completely random data.

Click here to view the full article.

Leave a Reply


Privacy Calendar

Nov
7
Fri
all-day George Washington Law Review 201... @ George Washington University Law School
George Washington Law Review 201... @ George Washington University Law School
Nov 7 – Nov 8 all-day
Save the date for the GW Law Review‘s Annual Symposium, The FTC at 100: Centennial Commemorations and Proposals for Progress, which will be held on Saturday, November 8, 2014, in Washington, DC. This year’s symposium, hosted in[...]
Nov
11
Tue
10:15 am You Are Here: GPS Location Track... @ Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows
You Are Here: GPS Location Track... @ Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows
Nov 11 @ 10:15 am
EFF Staff Attorney Hanni Fakhoury will present twice at the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association’s Annual Sunny Climate Seminar. He will give a presentation on government location tracking issues and then participate in a panel[...]
Nov
12
Wed
all-day PCLOB Public Meeting on “Definin... @ Washington Marriott Hotel
PCLOB Public Meeting on “Definin... @ Washington Marriott Hotel
Nov 12 all-day
The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board will conduct a public meeting with industry representatives, academics, technologists, government personnel, and members of the advocacy community, on the topic: “Defining Privacy.”   While the Board will[...]
Nov
20
Thu
all-day W3C Workshop on Privacy and User... @ Berlin, Germany
W3C Workshop on Privacy and User... @ Berlin, Germany
Nov 20 – Nov 21 all-day
The Workshop on User Centric App Controls intents to further the discussion among stakeholders of the mobile web platform, including researchers, developers and service providers. This workshop serves to investigate strategies toward better privacy protection[...]
Dec
2
Tue
all-day IAPP Practical Privacy Series 2014
IAPP Practical Privacy Series 2014
Dec 2 – Dec 3 all-day
Government and FTC and Consumer Privacy return to Washington, DC. For more information, click here.
Dec
11
Thu
9:00 am Progress of the EU Data Protecti...
Progress of the EU Data Protecti...
Dec 11 @ 9:00 am
The EU Member States have agreed to conclude the negotiations on the EU Data Protection draft Regulation in 2015. The process will have arrived at a critical point by the end of this year. The[...]

View Calendar