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In a paper published in the DePaul Law Review, Joshua J. McIntyre writes about the potential to use IP addresses to "expose the individuals behind the computers." His paper, entitled "The Number is Me: Why Internet Protocol (IP) Addresses Should Be Protected as Personally Identifiable Information," explores various definitions of PII, concluding that IP addresses are "functionally similar" to other types of PII and should be similarly protected by law. According to the paper's abstract, "While various federal statutes protect similar data, such as telephone numbers and mailing addresses, as Personally Identifiable Information, federal privacy law does not sufficiently protect IP addresses."
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