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Data Protection/Privacy Issues Update: Soliciting Community Input on Article 29 Guidance

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Following another busy week for our team focused on the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), we are writing to recap the latest milestones. On Thursday, we a received a letter [PDF, 400 KB] from the Article 29 Working Party where they provided recommendations on ICANN org's Interim Model for Compliance [PDF, 922 KB] with ICANN's agreements and the GDPR. In my reply [PDF, 313 KB] to Article 29 I again emphasize the need for additional time to further develop and implement the model, including a moratorium on enforcement until our model is in place.

Allow me to reiterate that ICANN recognizes the importance of the GDPR and its goal of protecting personal data, but also notes the importance of balancing the right to privacy with the need for information.

While we continue our work to understand, clarify and address the Article 29 Working Party's recommendations and make any necessary adjustments to the model, we encourage and request the community's involvement and input on each of the proposed recommendations.

We have accepted an invitation to meet with the WP 29 Technology Subgroup on 23 April in Brussels. Please share your input with Article 29 and the relevant European member state data protection authorities, as well as with us at gdpr@icann.org. We continue to welcome the dialogue and your time and input.

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    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""icann.org"" is not an IDN."