An IP address and you are central to how the Internet functions. The IP address reveals information about you, your trends, location, and a whole lot more. By use of an email, say sending an email, the recipient can learn your location. Through the IP address your internet service provider can be learned as well. While the information may be limited to your location and your ISP, the online activity through a particular IP address can decipher more about the user.
Studies have been conducted to learn the extent of the information that is discernible from an IP address. Network specific studies are easier to conduct and have revealed alarming information. The Canadian Privacy Commission (CPC) sought to conduct a study within its network using a search vehicle to learn about the users of the internet through their network. CPC was able to learn a variety of the following: search history of the person to reveal interests, activity on sites to reveal purpose of use, sites visited to reveal a more detailed level of interest of the user, posting of comments on sites, online purchases, and even future vacation plans before they ask for the leave.
Advertisers pay handsomely for this information to enhance their directed marketing efforts. Employers may use this data to monitor their employees. Government can use this data to anticipate security risks. Indeed, the IP address reveals much that many users do not realize.