ICANN asks EU DPAs to balance privacy with the need for information

Replying to the letter sent by the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party (Article 29 WP) with regard to ICANN’s work on a proposed interim model to ensure compliance between ICANN agreements and policies and the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), ICANN CEO Göran Marby noted that ICANN places importance on ‘balancing the right to privacy with the need for information’, and underlined the need for ‘a moratorium on enforcement’ to allow the organisation to ‘protect Internet users globally’. Marby explained that even if the organisation manages to include all the recommendations from Article 29 in its proposed model, there will be a need for a significant amount of time to implement the model. The letter also refers to possible negative consequences of a ‘fragmented WHOIS’ which could ‘hinder the ability of law enforcement around the world to get important information and for the anti-spam community to help ensure the Internet protects end- users’ and ‘will have a detrimental impact of the entire Internet’. Marby concludes his letter by asking Article 29 WP to ‘spend more time considering the balance between the important right to privacy and the need for information’. ICANN and Article 29 WP will meet on 23 April to further discuss these and other related issues. In advance of this meeting, ICANN asked the community to share its input on the Article 29 WP guidance.