Skip to main content

Data Protection/Privacy Issues Update: Discussion with Article 29 Working Party

Gdpr update 29mar19 en

I want to provide you with an update on our most recent discussions with the Article 29 Working Party regarding the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and its impact on the collection, retention and publication of domain name registration data and the WHOIS system. Today we had a good conversation with representatives from the technology subgroup of the Article 29 Working Party on these points.

Our discussion today focused on a follow up from our previous calls, and to make ICANN org available to answer questions on ICANN's Proposed Interim Compliance Model [PDF, 922 KB] (the "Cookbook"). We outlined the steps we had taken subsequent to the last call and highlighted the continued collection of additional inputs from our community.

We also discussed the timing and next steps for obtaining advice for ICANN and its contracted parties. We heard clearly from the representatives that they understood the issues relating to the ICANN/WHOIS space and are evaluating how to provide advice from the Article 29 Working Party.

Based upon the conversation, we anticipate that ICANN and the WHOIS system will be on the upcoming Article 29 plenary's agenda for 10-11 April 2018. It was clear from the interaction that we have a common aim of seeking additional clarity around how the law will apply to ICANN, our community, and the WHOIS.

We look forward to receiving advice following the plenary, which we may rely on to complete the model, and are hopeful that we will also be provided with a moratorium on enforcement that would allow sufficient time to implement the model and build the appropriate accreditation system.

We urge you to continue following our Data Protection/Privacy Issues page for the latest updates and share your thoughts at


    Domain Name System
    Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as"""" is not an IDN."