Digital Communication


Digital Communication

What is a dynamic IP address?


In the past, the dynamic IP changed automatically every 24 hours minimum. Today, dynamic IP addresses are usually only renewed when the router reconnects to the Internet. While dynamic IPs once provided more anonymity to devices and people due to the regular change of IP addresses, they now pose significant data protection issues.

To understand why there is a legal problem concerning personal data, it suffices to remember that access providers can only store dynamic IP addresses for as long as is technically necessary for the transmission of the data. However, as a general rule, some providers retain dynamic IP and associated personal data beyond the time technically necessary for the transmission of data between the user and the website.

This was revealed by an investigation conducted by German MP Patrick Breyer, a member of the Pirate Party in Schleswig-Holstein. Breyer found that even after leaving the website, website operators store dynamic IP, and therefore device information, for longer than necessary. The reason given by the site operators is the protection against cyber threats and traceability of possible cyber attacks. Although dynamic IP addresses can also be considered personal data, the German Federal Court of Justice ruled in 2017 that websites can also store dynamic browsing logs due to threat scenarios.

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