IP addresses private data?

January 22, 2008

An EU official has told a hearing of the European Parliament that IP addresses should be regarded as personal data as they can identify users addresses and locations. This was heard in regards to inquiries into search engines and data protection. Google have said that they only use the data to improve results and relevance for users.

This has larger implications for some metrics companies and users of methods to produce mosaic breakdowns of users based on IP address.

I’ve no problem with anyone knowing my IP address in order to provide me with more accuracy in their services. However some companies base their entire business models on making use of this data and any new laws on use of IP addresses could impact them greatly. Location based services are hugely important to the webs future (in my opinion) especially to mobile web.

One to watch…

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