Possibilities for identifying individual users based on a public IP address

Possibilities for identifying individual users based on a public IP address

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Summary

In light of proposed legislation introducing a limited retention obligation on telecommunications data for detection and prosecution purposes, we examined whether it is technically feasible to identify individual users based on a public IP address. The question addressed in this study is:
How do (mobile) internet providers identify an individual user of a public IP address, up until 12 months after use, for investigation and prosecution purposes, and what are the relevant (social) considerations?
We define social considerations as: (1) usability for investigation and prosecution, (2) citizens’ privacy, and (3) the costs for internet providers. To address this research question, we reviewed the literature and held interviews with (mobile) internet providers, the police, and other stakeholders/experts. The findings enabled us to formulate strategy options.

Publication data

Author(s):
Vorst, T. van der, Steur, J., Jelicic, N., Rees, J. van
Organization(s):
Dialogic Innovation and Interaction, WODC
Place of publication:
Utrecht
Publisher:
Dialogic
Year of publication:
2019

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