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ICANN Milestone: Registration Data Policy - EPDP Phase 1 Published

21 February 2024

I am pleased to share that the Registration Data Policy was published today. This consensus policy was developed by the ICANN community to enable ICANN-accredited registrars and generic top-level domain (gTLD) registry operators (contracted parties) to comply with applicable privacy and data protection laws. The policy helps to clarify how each registration data element is handled. It will go into effect on 21 August 2025, with a transition period for contracted parties from 21 August 2024 through 20 August 2025.

The completion of this policy is a tremendous achievement and culminates four years of work and collaboration between the ICANN community's Implementation Review Team (IRT) and the ICANN organization's Implementation Project Team, as well as the Expedited Policy Development Process (EPDP) team that developed the policy recommendations under tight time constraints in 2019.

The Registration Data Policy is like no other in ICANN's history due to its scope and impact on other policies. It implements a total of 34 policy recommendations and includes updates to 20 impacted policies and procedures as well as the Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP) Profile. The policy not only affects the ICANN community but the entire Domain Name System ecosystem, including registrars, registry operators, data escrow agents, Emergency Back-end Registry Operators, Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Service Providers, and Uniform Rapid Suspension Service Providers, as well as WHOIS and Registration Data Directory Services client providers for global Internet users. Details on the policy, including Frequently Asked Questions, are available at the Registation Data Policy-Implementation Resources page.

This work first began when the ICANN Board adopted the Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data (Temporary Specification), which preserved as much of the existing WHOIS system as possible while bringing ICANN's contractual requirements for gTLD registries and registrars into compliance with the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation. Following the Board's adoption of the Temporary Specification, the first-ever EPDP was initiated by the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council to determine if the Temporary Specification should become an ICANN consensus policy as is or with modifications. In 2019, the ICANN Board adopted the recommendations contained in the EPDP Final Report and directed the ICANN organization (org) to implement them.

The IRT was created to help ICANN org implement ICANN consensus policy documentation based on the recommendations in the report. After years of work, which included the added scope for the EPDP Phase 2 Priority 2 Recommendations in 2021 and the Supplemental Recommendation in 2022, the draft Registration Data Policy was published for Public Comment in August 2022. Great care and consideration were taken to thoroughly review and incorporate feedback provided by the community to finalize the policy. The Registration Data Policy, when in full effect, will replace the current interim requirements.

The completion of the Registration Data Policy is an example of how the multistakeholder model can effectively bring together an array of stakeholders to address some of the most significant, complex, and challenging issues facing the entire Internet ecosystem. This policy will help the Internet community and ICANN org more clearly navigate the current landscape and provide the necessary requirements to effectively enforce ICANN consensus policies related to registration data.

I would like to thank the ICANN community for their participation, patience, and dedication throughout this process. I also congratulate the IRT, GNSO Council, contracted parties, RDAP Working Group, and ICANN Board, whose collaboration and expertise were invaluable in reaching this milestone.


Sally Costerton

Sally Costerton

Sr. Advisor to President & SVP, Global Stakeholder Engagement and Interim President & CEO