Does Stack Exchange store the users' IP address whenever a user log ins every time and does it do some checks on the IP address and ban users, if a user is logging in from a different IP address on every login. And one more thing: What does Stack Exchange do further with the IP address information.

I am asking this just to be aware if there are some serious problems with this.

  • 2
    inb4 the usage is confidential, which is probably the case here. – Unihedron Mar 21 '15 at 8:38
  • Confidential, confidential and confidential – user275802 Mar 21 '15 at 8:50

Yes, the IP address is logged as you can see for example if you have an Stack Exchange OpenID account on the https://openid.stackexchange.com/user page. The main sites will use similar techniques, but that isn't visible anywhere for us mere mortals.

User page of OpenID

The IP address information can be used to block accounts that actively spam the servers and in case of abuse of the system (voting fraud is among those). Active IP connections are stored at the firewall, to throttle you if you make to many requests. Those are probably shortlived, and I expect them to be only stored if there is a reason due to bugs or performance investigations.

The IP address information is only used by Stack Exchange as can be read in the Privacy policy:

When you use the network, we also collect potentially personally identifying information in the form of Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. But we don’t use that information to identify you, and we handle and disclose these addresses in the same way we handle other potentially personally identifying information as described below.

This is all governed as part of Personally Identifying Information.

  • The anti-spam system is not triggered by vote fraud. This is really only meant for blatant spammers and occasionally trolls that try to circumvent other moderation mechanisms. – Mad Scientist Mar 21 '15 at 11:27

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