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Data Protection/Privacy Update: Latest Developments

Gdpr data protection privacy update 750x425 14feb18 en

My last blog of 25 January focused on the input received on the three proposed interim models for collecting registration data and implementing registration directory services in preparation for the 25 May 2018 enforcement date for the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). As you'll recall, input on the models which, along with feedback requested from community discussions on this topic, are contributing to the assessment of each potential option. From those inputs, either variations or modifications to one of these models, each of which includes a tiered/layered access approach to WHOIS data, will be identified.

As we shared during the webinar on 2 February, we are reviewing this input, and have shared a preliminary non-paper [XLSX, 14 KB] and graphic [PDF, 730 KB] representation of the models. The webinar, together with the community discussions, are providing very useful input to the evolving iteration of an interim compliance model.

In parallel to our work with the community, we also exchange information with the Article 29 Working Party and respective Data Protection Authorities (DPAs) on a regular basis, in order to update each other on developments and progress.

We sincerely appreciate the ongoing dialogue and help from the DPAs and are encouraged by the progress of these exchanges because ultimately, they will be judging the results of the proposed models. We will continue to engage with them on the recommended interim model and 'action plan', including process of compliance and implementation as we work towards finalizing these.

As the community works toward a long-term solution, we encourage this continued dialogue. We may formally ask DPAs for their views concerning ICANN's approach to the compliance model, since this would usefully inform both improvements to the interim solution and the development of the long-term framework.

In relation to the ICANN org's work with the stakeholders on solidifying views around an interim model, we welcome the ongoing community discussions and are working to share a next iteration of a model very soon.

This single, common interim model that is informed by input from across the ICANN community would seek to obtain compliance with both the GDPR and ICANN's contractual requirements related to registration directory services. The final interim model will include a rationale and input received in relation to each component. But it is important to remember that ICANN's contracted parties need to make their own determination about GDPR and related legal obligations as they relate to their specific situations. This also holds true for other stakeholders such as registrants.

Please continue to visit our data protection/privacy page for regular updates and of course send your questions to

This is clearly an important topic for both the ICANN org and the community, and we are all striving towards the same May 2018 timeline.

I also want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has participated in this important process, whether it was submitting questions or models for consideration, or in discussions within the multistakeholder community.


    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."