Daily DashboardEuropean Data Protection Digest

Court: Illegal File Sharers' IP Addresses Private

PRIVACY LAW—SWITZERLAND

September 13, 2010

The Register reports on a Swiss Federal Court ruling that the collection of illegal file sharers' IP addresses is a violation of the law. The ruling backs Switzerland's data protection commissioner's assertion that Logistep's collection of sharers' IP addresses violates the country's data protection act. Logistep's software searches peer-to-peer networks for those that are illegally sharing music files and logs their IP addresses, passing that information on to copyright holders to use in legal proceedings. The court ruled that though copyrighters have an economic interest to protect, that does not trump sharers' privacy rights. Some privacy advocates have argued that IP addresses are considered personal information under EU law.
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