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I received an "automated abuse detection" warning email to my Protonmail account due to bulk sign-ups. Does that mean that all the emails are associated with one another? My brother made a bunch of accounts on our household computer, and my main Proton account was warned.

Does Proton store the IPs, MAC, etc. in case of a data breach or leak, would all these accounts be associated one with another?

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    I googled "Does Protonmail store the IPs" and I got Protonmail's own answer. Please make sure you do at least a little googling before asking here.
    – schroeder
    Dec 5, 2022 at 10:24
  • I googled "protonmail automated abuse detection" and got this: proton.me/support/account-disabled which explains that they will not detail what algorithms they use. If they will not disclose it, then we will not know either. Again, please google your question before posting.
    – schroeder
    Dec 5, 2022 at 10:26
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    I’m voting to close this question because it lacks basic research
    – schroeder
    Dec 5, 2022 at 10:27
  • @schroeder My apologies, but there seems to be a misunderstanding. Thank you for your answer, but that link you sent is specifically why I asked this question. I was wondering if in case of a leak, the accounts would be identifiable one with another, since I got the automated abuse detection email to my main Protonmail account. i.e: is the data stored encrypted even if those are potentially spam accounts? I certainly did my research. Thank you for your answer, and I would appreciate your further input!
    – Amjad
    Dec 5, 2022 at 21:08
  • That's not what you asked, at all. If Protonmail has somehow connected your accounts, and someone got access to the data that says that they are connected, then, yes, that person would see the connection... How they store this data is not described anywhere and would be a question for Protonmail.
    – schroeder
    Dec 5, 2022 at 21:42

2 Answers 2

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What they store is described in the privacy policy.

What they write is the following:

2.7 IP logging: By default, we do not keep permanent IP logs in relation with your Account. However, IP logs may be kept temporarily to combat abuse and fraud, and your IP address may be retained permanently if you are engaged in activities that breach our terms and conditions (e.g. spamming, DDoS attacks against our infrastructure, brute force attacks). The legal basis of this processing is our legitimate interest to protect our service against nefarious activities.

They do not have access to your MAC address - that is purely a local address used within your Ethernet segment.

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  • Thank you! So, in case of a breach, would those emails be associated together? (My brother made a bunch of accounts, which got my email sent an automated abuse detection warning) - by which info, if not MAC, would they be associated? Thanks
    – Amjad
    Dec 4, 2022 at 20:15
  • We don't know more than they state in the privacy policy. Read it to get the details.
    – vidarlo
    Dec 4, 2022 at 20:21
  • Yes sir, I did read it and that's exactly why I'm confused. If they're not storing MAC addresses, for example, by what other information would the emails be associated? Forgive my misunderstanding.
    – Amjad
    Dec 4, 2022 at 20:22
  • For instance the IP address. They can't store MAC address, as they never get it.
    – vidarlo
    Dec 4, 2022 at 20:50
  • Thank you again! Reading the privacy policy again, specifically 2.7 (IP logging), it seems that sometimes they store IP addresses permanently. Are those also encrypted?
    – Amjad
    Dec 4, 2022 at 21:25
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For IPv4:

Only devices on your LAN can see your MAC address and even that is not that straightforward as you need to query the ARP cache.

As noted in the other answer they can store IP addresses to fight fraud and abuse but there's no way they can store your MAC address.

For IPv6:

It's a lot more complicated. If privacy IPv6 extensions are not enabled for your OS, it's possible to learn your MAC address.

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    Technically, you still wouldn't learn MAC addresses on IPv6, since you don't get to see the ethernet header at the receiving end. You would learn IPv6 addresses that could be derived from MAC addresses, so in some cases you could calculate the MAC addresses used. There still wouldn't be a guarantee those addresses are actually used on the network, I could also statically configure an EUI-64 IPv6 address not matching my MAC address.
    – Teun Vink
    Dec 5, 2022 at 9:00
  • You would learn IPv6 addresses that could be derived from MAC addresses, so in some cases you could calculate the MAC addresses used. - this is exactly what I was talking about, that's why I've long been reluctant to use IPv6 cause I have better things to do than to check each of my OSes where they enable the IPv6 privacy extension. Why was IPv6 designed with such a huge privacy issue/leak by default is beyond me. This should have never been the default. Dec 5, 2022 at 11:07
  • @ArtemS.Tashkinov thank you for your information. Great answer. May I please ask, to further clarify: my main Protonmail account got an automated abuse detection email. Will it be associated with the other mails in case of a leak? (i.e is the information stored, such as IP, etc. - stored encrypted, even in cases of protection, such as in section 2.7 in their privacy policy? Thank you again!
    – Amjad
    Dec 5, 2022 at 21:10
  • Please ask them directly, I've got no information on that. Dec 6, 2022 at 9:55

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