Data held by ISPs

Charles Lindsey chl at
Tue Dec 23 17:39:35 GMT 2014

On Tue, 23 Dec 2014 08:20:51 -0000, Roland Perry  
<lists at> wrote:

> In article  
> <CAJ-LMZVwnWHR8oR=kHqQf1hcrdVNzB-V=1wWrUu4sd65rKU9Fw at>,  
> Mark Harrison <mark at> writes
>> </snip>
>> IP addresses (of the subscriber) are personal data.
>> Although it's taken a long time for this to be nailed into law (rather  
>> than denied by the MRD brigade).
>> </snip>
>> I'm surprised. IP addresses from ISP's are shared. They are rarely  
>> given to end devices but rather routers that are also shared. How could  
>> they be classed as identifiable? To whom under the law?
> Some routers are shared, others aren't[1]. But what you've asked neatly  
> summarises the conceptual wrangle that's being going on. One camp says  
> that because some IP addresses are shared, then none of them ought to  
> qualify as Personal Data; the other camp says that if some of them  
> aren't shared, then all of them ought to be given the respect accorded  
> to Personal Data - especially when it's hard to tell which are which.

For a router with a fixed IP address (like mine), that IP address  
identifies me (or the small number of people with accounts on my machine).

For a leased IP, the combination of the IP and the time are equivalent to  
a fixed IP. Just needs the cooperation of the ISP to decode it. But I  
would expect the table of IP leased against time would be traffic data,  
and hence demandable by TPTB (but not by any random Tom, Dick or Harry,  
because the IP/time combination is surely Personal Data). Whether ISPs can  
be forced to retain this data for some specified period I don't know, but  
if such is not lawful at the moment, for sure it soon will be.

Charles H. Lindsey ---------At Home, doing my own  
Tel: +44 161 436 6131                         Web:
Email: chl at      Snail: 5 Clerewood Ave, CHEADLE, SK8 3JU,  
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