September 17, 2012
In this article, Timothy Banks examines the privacy debate that has surfaced from the collection of MAC and IP addresses in the context of Canadian privacy laws and principles.
A minor kerfuffle broke out at a recent (May 30, 2012) U.S. Federal Trade Commission workshop, “In Short: Advertising and Privacy Disclosures in a Digital World.” During a discussion of privacy and advertising on mobile platforms, Sara Kloek, Director of Outreach for the Association for Competitive Technology, stated that a MAC address was information about a device and not personal information. Pam Dixon, founder and executive director of the World Privacy Forum, was quick to snap back stating that a MAC address was personal information.
Who is right? Why is it that we are still debating this fundamental issue? And is the answer different for IP addresses? This article attempts to unpack these issues in the context of Canadian privacy laws and principles.
Reproduced with permission of the publisher from Canadian Privacy Law Review, Vol. 9, No. 10, September 2012.
Download the Article