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I have a web application with server logs that are attractive to researchers. Is it ethical or not to release the logs publicly? They contain visitor IP addresses and the user-agent but no more identity-related information than that.

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closed as not constructive by Mark Trapp Oct 14 '11 at 17:17

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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What does your privacy statement say? –  birryree Oct 14 '11 at 15:52
    
I don't have one. –  dan Oct 14 '11 at 16:01
    
Whether something is moral or not is not in scope here: the ethics of privacy is too open-ended a scope for Stack Exchange. On the other hand, whether it's legal is a question for a lawyer. –  user8 Oct 14 '11 at 17:19
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3 Answers 3

In Germany the IP adress is a personal information. So I would suggest to replace the IPs with an numeric value. That should be enough, I guess...

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My only comment is to seek legal advise. You maybe in violation of privacy laws in your country and could face a costly legal battle or/and criminal or/and civil chargers.

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IANAL but some countries view IP addresses as personal information. Its not worth the risk, just anonymise your data.

Also some users could get upset if they find out. Is it worth risking upsetting your userbase for the sake of a couple of hours work even if it is legal?

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