ICANN Requests European DPAs to provide Guidance on Proposed Interim Model for GDPR

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced its request to the European data protection authorities (DPAs) to provide specific guidance on the organization’s Proposed Interim Compliance Model in relation to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). ICANN asks the authorities to help ICANN, as well as domain name registries and registrars, ‘to maintain the global WHOIS in its current form through either clarification of the GDPR, a moratorium on enforcement or other relevant actions, until a revised WHOIS policy that balances these critical public interest perspectives may be developed and implemented.’ The letter emphasises ICANN’s concern that the continued ambiguity on the application of the GDPR to the global WHOIS may ‘result in many domain name registries and registrars choosing not to publish or collect WHOIS out of fear that they will be subject to significant fines following actions brought against them by the European DPAs.’