According to a press release, the German Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof – FSC) on 15 May 2017 indicated that dynamic IP addresses constitute personal data within the meaning of Article 2(a) Directive 95/46/EC.
An IP address consists of a string of numbers, separated by periods (dots). Each IP address is separated into four segments by three periods.
Dynamic IP addresses make it easier for the Internet Service Provider (ISP) and are common for most Internet connections for ordinary users, while static IP addresses providing more control and more capabilities are for businesses. A Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server makes sure that a computer has an IP address and other network configuration it needs whenever the computer is online.
A name server is a server on the internet specialized in handling queries regarding the location of a domain name's various services. Name servers are a fundamental part of the Domain Name System or Server (DNS) and allow using domains instead of IP addresses. A domain name server, or DNS server, is to resolve (translate) a domain name into an IP address.
The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU)
The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has ruled that dynamic IP addresses can constitute personal data. Dynamic IP addresses, registered by a website provider when an individual accesses its website, shall constitute personal data where the operator has the legal means to combine the data with additional data (held by the internet service provider) to identify the data subject.
According to a press release, the German Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof - FSC) on 15 May 2017 indicated that dynamic IP addresses constitute personal data within the meaning of Article 2(a) Directive 95/46/EC, in relation to a service provider, where the service provider has the legal means which enable it to identify the data subject with additional data which the service provider has about that person. Since the IP address qualifies as personal data, it may only be stored if the requirements of Section 15(1) TMG, which sets out the requirements for storage of usage data, are fulfilled.
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