Feeds

German data regulators move to tighten IP address laws

Marketers shouldn't pass on your IP without your OK

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

Passing along IP addresses of web visitors to a third party without their permission could become illegal in Germany.

According to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, data protection authorities in Lower Saxony have already targeted sites who depend on IP addresses for online advertising.

The Lower Saxony authorities recently ordered German web marketer Matthias Reincke to remove Google’s AdSense and an Amazon widget that features books from the US online retailer.

Lower Saxony data protection commissioner Joachim Wahlbrink says users should give their permission before IP addresses of visitors can be passed on to advertisers such as Amazon. Informing web visitors that the information will be transmitted is not adequate. Data protection officials in other German states now seem to agree.

Reincke runs two forums – one on weight loss, the other on dogs – and says he makes hardly any money from advertising. Although he did remove a page-view counter from INFOnline, as well as the Amazon widget, Reincke is not planning to take down the Google AdSense application and has threatened the Lower Saxony regulators with a lawsuit.

In recent years, Germany has adopted stricter federal data protection laws. Under the revised law, the processing and use of personal data for the purposes of selling addresses and using contact details for marketing will be permitted only if the individual has expressly consented to such use.

Online analytic tracking in Germany is now also under scrutiny. Last month Google broke off talks with the German authorities regarding webmaster use of Google Analytics. German regulators believe that the use of Google Analytics, which generates detailed statistics about visitors, violates user privacy.

Although Google introduced a browser plugin that allows users to opt out of tracking, Germany's data protection commissioner Johannes Caspar isn't satisfied. The plugin isn’t compatible with some browsers. Google claims that Google Analytics is in compliance with European data protection laws.

Switzerland is also tightening its privacy laws. Switzerland's top administrative court will rule on whether Google Inc's Street View map service is legal in Switzerland. Swiss Federal Data Protection Commissioner Hanspeter Thuer has asked the Federal Administrative Court to force Google to manually blur faces caught by Google Street View or face being shut down. ®

Application security programs and practises

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.