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ProtonMail Removes “We Do Not Keep IP Logs” From Privacy Policy

protonmail removes no ip logs from privacy policy

It was recently reported that popular email provider ProtonMail has removed “We Do Not Keep IP Logs” from its privacy policy.

ProtonMail is an anonymous email provider used by thousands from around the world looking to send email anonymously and securely.

This news broke after a French climate activist’s account activity and IP address were turned over to Swiss authorities.

The compromised ProtonMail account was associated with the Youth for Climate, which encourages high school students to skip school to attend protests.

The tweet below further explains the situation and includes citations.

What’s most interesting about this story, is after looking at ProtonMail’s website in August, you will notice the messaging regarding IP logs has changed.

Under the Anonymous Email heading it states “By default, we do not keep any IP logs which can be linked to your anonymous email account.”

However, if you visit the ProtonMail website today, you will find that the messaging has now changed:

The website information now reads “ProtonMail is email that respects privacy and puts people (not advertisers) first.”

In ProtonMail’s original policy the term “by default” is what’s important. Being a Swiss company, ProtonMail was forced to comply with a Swiss court’s injunction demanding that it logs the IP address and other information for a particular ProtonMail account.

ProtonMail eventually responded to the situation through an official press release on their website:

In this case, Proton received a legally binding order from Swiss authorities which we are obligated to comply with. There was no possibility to appeal this particular request.”

They then go on to explain what changes are being made within ProtonMail’s privacy policy going forward:

“We will be making updates to our website to better clarify ProtonMail’s obligations in cases of criminal prosecution and we apologize if this was not clear. As a Swiss company, we must follow Swiss laws. We will also be updating our privacy policy to make clearer our legal obligations under Swiss law. “

Overall, it will be interesting to see what happens with this ProtonMail situation and if any more accounts will be compromised in the future.

TROYPOINT both uses and recommends the ProtonMail email service. It appears the Swiss government may be overstepping its boundaries in this scenario when it comes to user privacy. Hopefully, this trend does not continue.

For email alternatives, we suggest checking out Tutanota and various fake email generators for temporary email use.

Important Note: To fully hide your IP address and protect your online privacy, it’s recommended to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) with any internet-connected device.


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Notable Replies

  1. So, have VPN on before using it? Will that solve the issue?

  2. Troymiester!
    Thanks for the “Heads-up” When you recommended proton months ago, I jumped on it.
    Now with this new revelation, I have deleted all emails and have closed my account. I do and have used ipVanish for years. I know they don’t keep logs so using it while on proton may give you some level of anonymity however that’s what the French dude thought before they decided to go all interpol and the Hague convention on him!
    So Swiss privacy laws, yeah right!
    Snooki meows “No” on proton yes on guerrilla mail!

  3. Avatar for mkmck mkmck says:

    I looked at Tutanola, and their website says the following:

    "By default, we do not log IP addresses when you log in or when you send an email. The IP addresses of sent and received emails are stripped so that your location remains unknown.

    We only log IP addresses of individual accounts in case of serious criminal acts such as murder, child pornography, robbery, bomb threats and blackmail after being served a valid court order by a German judge. You can find details on this as well as on German data protection rights on our blog."

    How is this any different than what ProtonMail is doing? They get a court order, they release the IP info.

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