Data Protection: The old Internet protocol IPv4 no longer offers any new IP addresses. The new IPv6 is in the starting blocks. But privacy advocates sound the alarm about the possibility of assigning a static IP address to each user. Deutsche Telekom is already working on a data protection concept for IPv6.
Thanks to the enormously enlarged address space of the new Internet protocol IPv6, each user, and indeed each end device, can be given its fixed IP address – with which online movement profiles can be created. Data protection experts warn of the risks of static addressing.
“Static IP addresses allow all activities of an Internet connection to be permanently linked,”. “This cannot be in the interests of a Company, as it makes creating a profile much easier.”
Data Protection: Privacy Advocates Continue To Demand Dynamic IP Addresses From Providers
A comprehensive picture of network usage is created especially for globally active Internet services, such as advertising rings, specializing in profiling. In Mexico City, the data protection officers of numerous countries passed a resolution initiated by the top data protection officer at their annual meeting, calling on Internet service providers who are introducing IPv6 to continue to assign addresses to users dynamically.
The experts at Deutsche Telekom also feared a loss of anonymity due to the static address assignment. Given the number of 340 sextillion IPv6 addresses, it would be easy and technically convenient for providers to assign a fixed address to each device – and thus make it uniquely identifiable.
Against the possible consequences – movement and user profiles – a data protection concept from Telekom is supposed to help, which is partly based on a picture of the “privacy extension for IPv6” already presented by the developers.
“Privacy Extensions” Prevent Static IP Addresses
The “Privacy Extensions” ensure that the last part of the number reserved for the end device is calculated according to a random factor. At the same time, Telekom also offers regularly changed numbers in the front part of the IP address, which is used to identify the provider’s network. An additional privacy button allows users to have a new address if they deem it necessary. “If you use all three levels of Telekom’s data protection solution, there are currently no residual risks for data protection or, better yet, IP tracking,”.
However, all experts point out that the profile pictures do not necessarily depend on tracking the IP addresses. “Even today, very detailed tracking can be carried out using cookies,”. However, Telekom expects that do-not-track standards intended to allow customers to defend themselves against cookies will become more and more popular in the future. Without a data protection solution for IP addressing, IP tracking could replace cookies in the future.
Ban On The Transfer Of User Data Are The Lever For Data Protection
Ultimately, it is the network providers and, not to forget, the device manufacturers in whose hands the users give themselves. The provider, who always knows who was under which IP address and where, is like a tax advisor, says Menial. Bans on the transfer of user data – also for the operators of social networks – are the lever when it comes to data protection.
Menial also points out that in the end, customers can ensure that they are better protected against a loss of anonymity when they buy cell phones. “The first iPhones,” “worked by default with a fixed address assignment for the devices.” it is a purchase criterion whether a mobile device supports the better standards. “The beautiful design alone shouldn’t be the sole argument in favor of the purchase.”