IPv6 privacy – interesting document

Dutch IPv6 task-force wrote and published an interesting document, talking about IPv6 and privacy concerns. As far as we can see from our experience, technical view on this topic differs severly from the point of view that several Information Commissioners around EU have…

However, the document touches just a matter of privacy extensions, used to generate the host part of the address. This is fine and we all agree with it. The real problem and difference in points of view comes to play, when we talk about prefix privacy.

There are different ways, how to do prefix delegations in fixed access network – actually there are  only two ways: Static or dynamic.

With static prefixes you need to permanently write in the database assigned prefix for every user in order for the system to assign the same prefix to tha same user every time he connects. This way we avoid issues with deprecating old prefix in local users network, avoiding ISPs help desk to become hell desk.

With dynamic prefixes we avoid writing into database, we can easily aggregate prefixes, as we define dynamic pools at our “BRAS” points – but user gets different prefix delegated each time he connects. If this is L3 CPE, then we need to deprecate all old prefixes in users local network and assign new one – everytime CPE reconnects. Can’t imagine the calls to the helpdesk, when this happens and not all devices gets reconfigured automatically. Specially not after 6.6. this year, when all big content players will introduce IPv6 in their content distribution infrastructure.

Many “experts” thinks, that changing an IP address is privacy and that changing network prefix would help with better privacy.

Personally, I can’t agree. That is (if I choose my words politely) – silly.

We started assigning dynamic IPv addresses because we felt the lack of them. In IPv6 there is no need to do that anymore. Changing prefix in order to retain privacy is silly thought. So somebody thinks that even if they change the prefix and IP address, they can’t be tracked? What about all L7 mechanisms, used to track everybody down at every moment?

So, for those, proposing this silly idea, here is the thought. In order to maintain my privacy, I demand that on every morning, when I wake up:

– my ID number is changed, because I can get tracked
– all my documents are changed
– my car registration plate is changed
– my face is changed, because with the same face every day I’m easily trackable`
– my name and surname is changed, because it’s written on my front door where I live
– my home address is changed
– …

I’m sure the proponents of this nonsens would find my real-life-privacy-enhancing suggestions silly 🙂

Jan Žorž

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  1. April 12th, 2012 | 08:52 AM

    don’t use Internet.
    That should be “secure”… }:-E

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