Tuesday, January 22, 2008

IPs Now Private Info?

Thru ha.ckers.org we learn (original here) about something that might have pretty dramatic implication to logging and log management: "IP addresses, string of numbers that identify computers on the Internet, should generally be regarded as personal information, the head of the European Union's group of data privacy regulators said Monday." (the quote is related to EU fight with Google, also described there)

Wow! If accepted, this will quite some implication to logging (ha.ckers.org outline a few fun implications as well), since it will dramatically increase the sensitivity of logs and will turn all logging projects, no matter how small and tactical, into "PII collection efforts" with heavy privacy price to pay.

Now I have to share the dirty, evil thought that crossed my mind when read it: at one point, Google and other companies should just boycott those "'dumb privacy' freaks" and conduct a wonderful experiment: how long those Europeans will survive without search engine "service?" But wait a few years, Google, before pulling a plug: it will make sure that Internet becomes truly indispensable ...

Also, what do I mean by "dumb privacy"? Am I anti-privacy? No (not anymore), this is where I explain it. I did experience my eureka moment during a webcast on privacy when I realized the existence of a "privacy chasm" (see more here)

UPDATE: Richard Stiennon calls it "crazy talk of the third degree" here.

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Dr Anton Chuvakin