by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
privacy, switzerland


Swiss Supreme Court Says Tracking Online File Sharers Violates Privacy Laws

from the the-industry-isn't-going-to-like-that dept

A couple years ago, we wrote about how Swiss officials had told Logistep to stop snooping on suspected file sharers as it violated their privacy. However, a year later, a court ruled otherwise. However, things have changed once again, as Michael Geist points us to the news that the Swiss Supreme Court has said that Logistep's snooping violates privacy rules. Apparently, Switzerland has strict digital privacy laws, which counts IP addresses as private information. I'm not sure if I agree with that idea (IP addresses are, somewhat by definition, public info -- though I could see how connecting that info to users is a privacy violation). However, it's certainly going to make tracking file sharers (or, hell, anyone online) a lot trickier.

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  1. icon
    The Infamous Joe (profile), 9 Sep 2010 @ 1:27pm

    Re: Re: of course

    A man operates a newspaper stand. He is busy playing on his new Droid 2 when suddenly he notices that someone has just finished reading a copy of US Weekly and then put it down without paying for it, in direct violation of his sign that says "No reading magazines before without paying!" He quickly pulls up his exact GPS location and also notes the exact time. He then proceeds to call every wireless carrier with coverage at his news stand and asks for the names and addresses of everyone who was at the exact spot at that exact time, alleging that they stole from him, so he can send them legal letters threatening to sue them for an obscene amount of money unless they pay $250 to settle.

    Your location while in public is public data.

    There has been no conviction or trial, only accusation.

    The violation is of a civil nature.

    Would you want *your* cell company to give this man your personal information or to tell him to go away? Would you be okay with your government supporting this kind of flimsy evidence to extort money or ruin lives?

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