Feb 232011
 
 February 23, 2011  Posted by  Non-U.S.

Data protection authorities in Lower Saxony are stepping up their efforts to make it harder for German websites to pass along visitors’ IP addresses. If they succeed, it could mean the end of online advertising in Germany in its current form.

The state’s data protection commissioner, Joachim Wahlbrink, has said that web sites should not be able to pass along the IP addresses of visitors without their having given permission beforehand.

In doing so, he is taking on both internet companies in Germany and internet giants such as Amazon, Google and Facebook who depend on those IP addresses to more closely target their online advertising.

But the issue didn’t begin with a David and Goliath confrontation between the data authorities in Lower Saxony and the behemoths in Silicon Valley. Rather, the German officials found a smaller initial target.

Read more in The Local.

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