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Just a bit of wierdness ...????


Wazoo
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EU official says IP address is personal

BRUSSELS, Belgium - IP addresses, a string of numbers that identifies a computer, should generally be regarded as personal information, the head of the European Union's group of data privacy regulators said Monday.

Germany's data protection commissioner Peter Scharr leads the EU group currently preparing a report on how well the privacy policies of Internet search engines operated by Google Inc., Yahoo Inc., Microsoft Corp. and others comply with existing EU privacy law.

He told a European Parliament hearing on online data protection that when someone was identified by an IP, or Internet protocol, address "then it has to be regarded as personal data."

.....

Scharr acknowledged that IP addresses may not always be personal or linked to an individual in every case. IP addresses can be dynamic, issued anew to different people using their regular computer. An IP address of computer in an Internet cafe or an office can also identify a computer used by several people.

But these exceptions haven't stopped the emergence of a host of "whois" Internet sites that apply the general rule that typing in an IP address will generate a name for the person or company linked to it.

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The 'emergence' of "whois" Internet sites ...????? where have these folks been hiding all these years?

All this is definitely in contrast to the various incidents in years past, where Yahoo was slammed for simply handing over the identities of some of their users to the Chinese goverment, .... another situation where Yahoo, Microsoft, etc. handed over the same identification data to the U.S. Government, whereas Google told the authorities to get stuffed ..... it's definitely nice to see that the "guy in charge" apparently knows none of this ..... or are we back to an idiot reporter writing up the story?

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[rant]Unfortunately it cannot be assumed Herr Scharr is merely criminally uninformed and/or brain-dead (though neither is a disqualification for high office, Caligula's attempted appointmnet of his horse Incitatus as a Senator of Rome being generally regarded as one of the better selections by later observers though it was undoubtedly controversial at the time). From the outside looking in, it often seems the more bizarre pronouncements of the EU bureaucrats are ultimately shown to hide an agenda relating to something else, quite unrelated. They are very capable of distorting any aspect of reality to advance their special interests, especially when those interests are illegitimate or contested. Who could forget the "straight banana" debacle? They're more trouble than they're worth and a pox on their collective and respective houses. And the horses they rode in on, Senators or not.[/rant]

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IP addresses, a string of numbers that identifies a computer, should generally be regarded as personal information, the head of the European Union's group of data privacy regulators said Monday.
I believe that my car's parking space is my personal property. Of course, my car goes to lots of places and gets parked all over (especially the past two weeks), but no matter. I'm writing my congressman to take action, if he can find time in between campaigning and giving away tax rebates.

Or maybe Herr Scharr and the EU parliament can be of more help...

-- rick

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