Thursday, April 28, 2005

Austrian Court: IP Address = Telephone Number = No Privacy Protection

An Austrian court does some legal bending and bends around privacy protection of ISP customers as a result. It concludes that an (dynamic) IP address is the equivalent of a telephone number and has to be considered "master data". This brings a lower protection regime, says the court:
"Master data are not subject to privacy of telecommunications, but rather only to data protection. Information about master data provided to criminal courts - i.e., the regular revelation of a user's identity based on a telephone number (which corresponds to an IP address) - can be provided if the suspect is to be investigated and prosecuted for a specific crime;"
That specific crime is offering 3,864 music files for upload from 1:42:26 PM EDT till 2:03:37 PM EDT on October 07, 2004. (More in the articles linked below.)
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Thru Heise [English]
Also Urheberrecht [German]
Court ruling [German]


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