24 February 2008

Google argues against calling IP addresses "personal data"

(Ars Technica)
European data protection leaders are considering a plan that would make IP addresses "personal information." Google wants to make sure it doesn't happen, and today it took the fight to the blogosphere. In a new public policy posting, Google software engineer Alma Whitten made the case that IP addresses aren't so much personal information as potentially personal information. Many IP addresses assigned to consumers don't reliably map to a single machine (due to the wonders of DHCP), and even when they do, it's only the machine and not the person who is identified. Google clearly hopes to avoid a "black-and-white declaration that all IP addresses are always personal data."