Lisa J. Sotto, Partner and Chair of Hunton & Williams’ Privacy and Information Management practice, discusses the roles individuals, companies, service providers and governments play in helping to create a safer, more trusted Internet.   End to End Trust is Microsoft’s broad and all encompassing vision for creating a “safer, more trusted Internet,” which is achieved

In a closely-watched case, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington recently held that Internet Protocol (“IP”) addresses do not constitute personally identifiable information (“PII”). The plaintiffs in Johnson v. Microsoft Corp. brought a class action suit against Microsoft claiming that the collection of consumer IP addresses during the Windows XP installation process violated the XP End User License Agreement. The Agreement stated that Microsoft would not collect PII without the user’s consent. The plaintiffs referenced Microsoft’s own online glossary to support their claim that IP addresses should be considered PII. The glossary defined “personally identifiable information” as “[a]ny information relating to an identified or identifiable individual. Such information may include…IP address.” In granting summary judgment in favor of Microsoft, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Jones found that “[i]n order for ‘personally identifiable information’ to be personally identifiable, it must identify a person. But an IP address identifies a computer.”


Continue Reading Washington Court Rules that IP Addresses Are Not Personally Identifiable Information