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Keinverzeichnis / meinVZ

Policy on saving IP addresses

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What are IP addresses?

IP addresses are series of numbers such as "231.34.0.127" that allow computers to be identified on the internet. They make it possible for data to be transferred: like sending a letter, the addresses of the sender and recipient must be recognisable for it to reach its goal. When exchanging packets of data, for example when you access a meinVZ page, the IP address will be used to ensure that the information is sent to the correct computer. Unlike a postal address, however, an IP address is not necessarily linked indefinitely to the same computer – the addresses are often assigned only temporarily.

Why do the IP addresses of users need to be saved at all?

Saving IP addresses is necessary to ensure the safety of the network and user data. IP addresses help us to defend against and learn about system attacks on our website – for example, from hackers, or people who try to use special computer programs to read information automatically.

Why are the IP addresses only saved for a limited amount of time?

Because we must balance the security of the platform and its users on the one hand and the interests of data protection on the other. The exact period of time that best serves these two valid interests is the subject of much discussion. At the request of the Berlin Data Protection Agency, the IP addresses of studiVZ and meinVZ users will, until further notice, be saved for only 5 days.

The security of our users is of the utmost importance to us. If it becomes clear that saving the addresses for such a short period of time is compromising this security, the timescale will be lengthened accordingly. In doing so we will, of course, take into account the security interests of the platform and its users as well as the interests of data protection.