Privacy Advisor

UK—Court challenges IP address identification

A UK court has questioned whether IP addresses can be used to identify a specific individual accused of copyright infringement (Media CAT Limited v Adams &Ors [2011]). Judge Birrs QC, presiding, queried whether an IP address could reliably establish that the accused had infringed copyright, saying, “The fact that someone [at that IP address] may have infringed does not mean the particular named defendant has done so.” This case calls into question the commonly held view in Europe that IP addresses constitute personal data.

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