ICANN Focuses on Compliance of Registration Data and Privacy

Barbara Wanner, fourth from left, at ICANN 61 along with fellow ICANN Business Constituency Executive Committee members.:
Steve DelBianco (NetChoice); Phil Corwin (VeriSign); Claudia Selli (AT&T); Barbara Wanner (USCIB); Jimson Olufuye (AfICTA)

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which is responsible for ensuring the security, stability and resilience of the domain name system (DNS), held its Community Forum in San Juan, Puerto Rico on March 10-15. The Forum attracted over 2,000 participants from business, government, civil society, and the technical community from 150 countries, including USCIB Vice President for ICT Policy Barbara Wanner. Over 300 sessions delved into a range of topics relating to the Internet’s addressing and identifier systems. Last year’s implementation of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) drove discussions throughout the week-long meeting.

Wanner, who also serves as the business constituent representative to the Commercial Stakeholders Group (CSG), was able to provide greater input to policy discussions at the executive committee level on behalf of USCIB members and facilitated important meetings with senior ICANN officials and key constituencies.

The focus of the Forum was an ICANN interim model aimed at ensuring that ICANN and the industry of more than 1,000 generic top-level domain registries comply with existing ICANN requirements concerning the collection of registration data (known as the WHOIS database) as well as meet the EU’s privacy protection requirements. Business participants also surfaced a proposal to establish an accreditation mechanism to enable third party access to data for law enforcement, consumer protection, brand management and intellectual property protection purposes.

The implications of the GDPR on ICANN’s WHOIS database policies dominated discussions throughout the week-long meetings,” commented Wanner. “The clock is running out on the May 25 implementation of the GDPR, so all stakeholders engaged in discussions with a sense of urgency,” she observed.

On March 8, ICANN proposed the so-called Calzone interim model, an approach that ICANN maintained endeavors to strike a balance between proposals put forward by various community stakeholders.

“Commercial business users raised concerns with the interim model, however, maintaining that it is overly broad in scope and does not sufficiently support legitimate public interests in allowing access to certain data for law enforcement, consumer protection and intellectual property protection,” commented Wanner.  “In order to gain access to this non-public data, business users proactively proposed a mechanism that would enable accredited users to gain access to the data they need to pursue legitimate business and public interests.”

Working through the business constituency and Commercial Stakeholder Group, USCIB will engage with other ICANN stakeholders in coming weeks to refine the accreditation model so it can be utilized when the GDPR formally goes into effect in late May.

Staff Contact:   Barbara Wanner

VP, ICT Policy
Tel: 202.617.3155

Barbara Wanner directs USCIB’s work on information, communications and technology issues. She works with members and government officials on a wide range of international business issue that include advocating for the continuation of the multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance and for policies aimed at promoting the stability, openness and innovative flexibility of the Internet. She represents USCIB members’ interests in several international forums, including the UN, APEC and the OECD.
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