IP adress = PII? I don't think so

IP adress = PII? I don't think so

Summary: Yikes, what is it with regulators and legislators? Do they have no one on their staffs to clue them in?

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TOPICS: Networking
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Yikes, what is it with regulators and legislators? Do they have no one on their staffs to clue them in? Evidently the European Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee is discussing classifying IP addresses as personally identifiable information. That is crazy talk of the third degree. They think of IP addresses as physical addresses when they should think of them as freeway exits. I, for instance, live nearest to
View Larger Map">exit 69 , Big Beaver Road, off of I-75. (yeah, yeah, its a big joke around here). And, of course, that exit number can change at anytime, arbitrarily. I can see how the clueless can be confused by IP addresses. They seem to be attached to your computer. I would suggest that these Euro-equivalents of Senator Ted Stevens do an ipconfig in cmd mode on their laptops next time they are connected at a wireless access point. "Hey! Who changed my IP address?" But what's the use? Anyone who can do that has a clue already. Outlawed hacking toolz in Germany, forbidden words in Brussels, its enough to make one lean towards technocracy over democracy.

Topic: Networking

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  • DHCP

    nt
    D T Schmitz
    • I work in internet tech support

      I have to explain 20 times daily that their ip address changes depending on where they are. And many of these people are business travellers. I once had to explain to a 'network admin' how to get to his ip address.

      So. I believe completely that the people making these laws are as clueless as they appear.
      SniperCT
      • On the flip side...

        [i]I once had to explain to a 'network admin' how to get to his ip address.[/i]

        Right after that, you should had him explain how he became a network admin without knowing how to get his own IP address. Sheesh!
        MGP2
  • IP = PII

    Eh - has anyone read what is being talked about over here? In terms of personal (not professional) use of IP addresses they ARE personally identifiable information. Most home users have always-on connections to the Internet and thus have static, or fairly static, IP addresses. It doesn't change, or at least all that often. Might as well say your physical house address or name isn't personally identifiable because it could, conceivably, change sometime in the future.

    Here in the Netherlands, PII is information that is directly traceable to a living person, or - in combination with other information - is. Your IP address, with the logs of your ISP lead to your physical address. Combine that with Google search terms - tied to your IP address - and you can pretty easily identify the person.

    Your IP address [u]IS[/u] personally identifiable information. At least in the definition used over here.
    ken.ryan@...
    • Just because

      You re-define what otherwise is a purely technical way to connect networks and computers does not make it so. Change your practise, shelter your IP address, dynamically update them. whatever. Don't impose fabricated privacy concerns on top of a technical reality.
      RStiennon
    • But Ken, that is special-case

      My (wired) provider, like most in the US, assigns dynamically - and of course, WiFi (portable) users ALWAYS get a "new" address per connect/session. With hard-wired modem this may happen whenever I boot, and certainly if I disconnect and reconnect the modem.

      In fact, while I can optionally reserve a specific address it costs extra to do so.
      teqjack@...
    • IP is a logical identification

      [i]In terms of personal (not professional) use of IP addresses they ARE personally identifiable information. [/i]

      OK, so if a family of six all use the same computer, which [b]person[/b] will be identified by that address?

      [i[Most home users have always-on connections to the Internet and thus have static, or fairly static, IP addresses.[/i]

      Just because an "always on" connection retains the same address for a long time, that doesn't mean it's statically assigned. The DHCP protocol has the network client request lease renewal 1/2 way thru the lease period. An IP address is a logical assignment that's paried with a network card's MAC address. Change the MAC address (which can be done with readily available spoofing tools) and you'll get a new address. So, I can have a new PII as often as I want, many times daily, in fact.
      MGP2
      • Edit.....

        Sorry, one of your quotes should have been italicized to distinguish it.

        [i]Most home users have always-on connections to the Internet and thus have static, or fairly static, IP addresses.[/i]
        MGP2
  • IP adress = PII? I don???t think so, either!

    Not just WiFi changes addresses. My (wired) provider, like many, assigns dynamically. This may happen whenever I boot, and certainly if I disconnect and reconnect the modem.

    In fact, while I can optionally reserve a specific address it costs extra to do so.

    Clueless legislators and regulators really have no excuse: not only do people in their ninetieth-plus year use computers so old Congresscritters etc ought not use that excuse, and government entities (for that matter private firms of any size) have tuned-in staff available, if not directly working with them.

    Eedjuts.
    teqjack@...
  • RE: IP adress = PII? I don't think so

    Haha, I thought you meant IP = PI = 3.14.159.26
    dave114@...