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Old 11.09.2010, 17:12
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Swiss Federal court rules IP collecting illegal

SwissInfo.ch has an article on a court ruling over privacy concerns. An internet company (Logistep) was collecting IP addresses of Swiss based file sharers as a tool in the music industry's fight against file sharing.


Privacy triumphs in internet piracy test case

Switzerland’s highest court has ruled in favour of people’s privacy in a case where a firm was sharing computer IP addresses to combat internet piracy.
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Old 11.09.2010, 17:25
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Re: Swiss Federal court rules IP collecting illegal

Awesome, as a serial downloader (I know, i'm naughty) the strict privacy laws are another reason I love this country.
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Old 11.09.2010, 18:12
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Re: Swiss Federal court rules IP collecting illegal

does this also apply to normal websites e.g. EF also collects IP addresses.
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Old 11.09.2010, 18:19
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Re: Swiss Federal court rules IP collecting illegal

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EF also collects IP addresses.
Your "internet provider" collects IP addresses.. Every site on the Internet for that matter collects them but there's nothing you can do with just an IP address unless the provider who distributed it gives out the name of the user who was assigned that number at any given moment.
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Old 11.09.2010, 18:23
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Re: Swiss Federal court rules IP collecting illegal

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does this also apply to normal websites e.g. EF also collects IP addresses.
Common sense would dictate that no, it doesn't apply to situations like EF that just display an IP without distributing personal information.
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Old 11.09.2010, 18:37
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Re: Swiss Federal court rules IP collecting illegal

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does this also apply to normal websites e.g. EF also collects IP addresses.
Having read the article it would appear to only apply to companies/individuals that are located in Switzerland who collect and share the IP addresses.

As vwild1 has pointed out the EF does collect IP addresses, as does pretty much any other server on the Internet. However in the EF's case it's simply a function of the software used to run the forum. IP adresses are used internally from time to time to combat spammers and trolls, but little else.

There's nothing nefarious going on here folks.
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Old 11.09.2010, 18:46
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Re: Swiss Federal court rules IP collecting illegal

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Having read the article it would appear to only apply to companies/individuals that are located in Switzerland who collect and share the IP addresses.
yes, i read it in the same way. at first i wondered whether there was some rule to stop you collecting in the first place.

as i have a server in switzerland i wondered if i needed to change the config on it. but it seems not an issue for me since the data is not visible to anyone.

i guess EF does share this personal data with the moderators, but that's a question for the EF lawyers to deal with.
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Old 11.09.2010, 19:14
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Re: Swiss Federal court rules IP collecting illegal

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i guess EF does share this personal data with the moderators
There is no "sharing" of personal data since an IP address is nothing more than a set of numbers. Basically the only thing we get out of an IP address is the member's provider name and location. Besides EF doesn't need to "share" anything about the IP, it's just within our Mod tools that we can see them through the forum (vBulletin).
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Old 11.09.2010, 19:27
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Re: Swiss Federal court rules IP collecting illegal

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There is no "sharing" of personal data since an IP address is nothing more than a set of numbers. Basically the only thing we get out of an IP address is the member's provider name and location. Besides EF doesn't need to "share" anything about the IP, it's just within our Mod tools that we can see them through the forum (vBulletin).
But your server logs and software map an I.P. Address to the members name, and thus any personal details provided by that member surely ?
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Old 11.09.2010, 19:47
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Re: Swiss Federal court rules IP collecting illegal

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But your server logs and software map an I.P. Address to the members name, and thus any personal details provided by that member surely ?
Yes, I would say that's true but what details did the member provide EF with in the first place..? In most cases nothing more than a fairly anonymous webmail address (msn, gmail, yahoo, etc.) and a fictitious account name (ie: Upthehatters).
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Old 11.09.2010, 19:53
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Re: Swiss Federal court rules IP collecting illegal

The EF Opteron server is physically located in Germany FYI.
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Old 11.09.2010, 20:32
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Re: Swiss Federal court rules IP collecting illegal

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But your server logs and software map an I.P. Address to the members name, and thus any personal details provided by that member surely ?
i think the importance in this ruling is that an IP address itself is deemed to be personal information.
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Old 11.09.2010, 20:43
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Re: Swiss Federal court rules IP collecting illegal

Upthehatters2008, Phil_MCR...

Where are you going with this... are you going to object to EF knowing your IP address because it's now personal information?

I would suggest the Swiss court ruling is linked in some way to voluntary vs involuntary sharing of personal data.
We volunteer information when we sign up to EF or Facebook of course.

Last edited by gbn; 11.09.2010 at 21:07.
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Old 11.09.2010, 21:23
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Re: Swiss Federal court rules IP collecting illegal

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The EF Opteron server is physically located in Germany FYI.
Which probably makes them exempt from Swiss privacy regulations, unless they have operations here in Switzerland.

By defining IP addresses as personal data, they now come under the Swiss Data Protection act. If the EF were in a situation where the law was applicable to them, then they could likely still do pretty much anything they are likely to want to do with the IPs (identify users, banning trolls, etc) under Article 4.

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1 All processing of personal data must be undertaken in a lawful manner.
2 Processing must be conducted in good faith and must not be excessive.
3 Personal data may only be processed for the purpose either for which it was collected, or which is evident from the circumstances, or which is provided for by the law.
So it's highly unlikely that this ruling will have any effect for companies like The Local.

Other companies based in Switzerland might have to consider whether they share IPs with advertisers or send the data abroad, though - not sure what the impact could be in those situations.

Edit: forgot a topic. My understanding from reading the article (specific quote below) is that it's point 3 above which the courts are concerned about. The usage of this personal data (IPs) by Logistep is not provided for by law. It's not being processed in good faith. Although it is being used for the purpose it was collected, I think that's a translation issue - I believe the intent of the law is that it needs to be used for the purpose for which it was provided.

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“What I want to underline, though, is we are not protecting internet pirates and this decision does not protect people who upload or download content illegally. But the search for pirates must be based on the law.”
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Old 11.09.2010, 21:26
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Re: Swiss Federal court rules IP collecting illegal

In Switzerland it's legal to download but illegal to share. So P2P systems are not legal but heavy download sites à la megaupload (based in CH I guess) are totally legal.
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Old 11.09.2010, 21:28
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Re: Swiss Federal court rules IP collecting illegal

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Upthehatters2008, Phil_MCR...

Where are you going with this... are you going to object to EF knowing your IP address because it's now personal information?

I would suggest the Swiss court ruling is linked in some way to voluntary vs involuntary sharing of personal data.
We volunteer information when we sign up to EF or Facebook of course.
See posts above. As the EF server is outside of switzerland, the ruling has no impact. My initial worry was that collecting IPs was totally banned which would have a huge impact as almost all webservers log IPs by default.
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Old 11.09.2010, 21:36
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Re: Swiss Federal court rules IP collecting illegal

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See posts above. As the EF server is outside of switzerland, the ruling has no impact. My initial worry was that collecting IPs was totally banned which would have a huge impact as almost all webservers log IPs by default.
Fair enough. I couldn't tell what your angle was (concern as you mention or indignation at EF...)
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Old 11.09.2010, 21:52
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Re: Swiss Federal court rules IP collecting illegal

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See posts above. As the EF server is outside of switzerland, the ruling has no impact. My initial worry was that collecting IPs was totally banned which would have a huge impact as almost all webservers log IPs by default.
It is very possible that the ruling has no impact on the Local.

The simple fact that the servers are outside of Switzerland however would not be enough for an exemption. Example: Collecting (personal) information in Switzerland and then transmiting it to a server in another country is a case of "transmitting data to a foreign country" where the provisions of art. 6 of the federal law on data protection (Datenschutzgesetz) would apply.
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Old 11.09.2010, 21:55
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Re: Swiss Federal court rules IP collecting illegal

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It is very possible that the ruling has no impact on the Local.

The simple fact that the servers are outside of Switzerland however would not be enough for an exemption. Example: Collecting (personal) information in Switzerland and then transmiting it to a server in another country is a case of "transmitting data to a foreign country" where the provisions of art. 6 of the federal law on data protection (Datenschutzgesetz) would apply.
Except in this case, the data is being provided by the data owner directly to a foreign company residing outside of Switzerland. Article 6 would only apply if it was first collected here in Switzerland and then transmitted out by the collector.
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Old 11.09.2010, 22:17
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Re: Swiss Federal court rules IP collecting illegal

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Except in this case, the data is being provided by the data owner directly to a foreign company residing outside of Switzerland. Article 6 would only apply if it was first collected here in Switzerland and then transmitted out by the collector.
I agree, thats why (among other reasons) I suggested that the ruling probably has no consequences for The Local.

I was just pointing out that the location of the server in itself does not mean that you are not touched by the swiss data protection legislation.


Its the same thing with sharing personal information voluntarily. The fact that you provided the information voluntarily does not mean that the collector can use this info in whatever way he wants.

Last edited by SamWeiseVielleicht; 11.09.2010 at 22:30.
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