RE: [nc-whois] Critical Relationship Between Accuracy and Privacy That the WHOIS Task Force Continues To Overlook and My Contribution to the WHOIS Privacy Issues Report
for your comments below, and the references which you've included. They are,
again, among the kind of contributions which we all need to be providing
to the TF members.
comment only as the co-chair of the Task Force, and as a member of the Council.
The role of Task Forces is to undertake policy analysis, and development of
consensus based policy recommendations, and to provide them to the Council for
approval. I understand that in working on a Task Force, that I cannot
guarantee the outcome of the decision of the Council. However, the
discussions at Council yesterday should have made it clear that the
Council is fully committed to considering the Issues Report in Rio. That is why
we are working as a Task Force to develop the Issues Report.
importantly, the Task Force has been, in my view, and continues to be fully
committed to understanding all sides of the issues it is examining. Your
continued contributions are very important to the development of the Issues
Report. It is important, again, for the Task Force to consider the broad
range of issues related to privacy related to WHOIS. We cannot overlook that not
all data is inaccurate "on purpose", nor for privacy reasons. Secondly, we
have other information to also take into account, such as the OECD guidelines
related to consumer protection. This is not to disagree with the
legitimate concerns of individuals, who are indeed acting as individuals,
related to their personal contact information. The focus of the Task Force
needs to be on looking further at all issues.
Dear Co-Members of the WHOIS Task
Based on some of your comments
during our teleconference call this week, email postings, and GNSO
teleconference meeting today, I want to emphasize a very important point that
some members of the Task Force continue to overlook.
of accuracy of WHOIS data has serious implications on privacy. Some
domain name registrants have legitimate reasons for providing inaccurate WHOIS
information -- for example, to protect their privacy and protect their
personally identifiable information from being globally, publicly accessible
-- and especially when there are no privacy safeguards in place. A
number of studies demonstrate that when no privacy safeguards are in place,
individuals often engage in privacy "self-defense." When polled on the
issue, individuals regularly claim that they have withheld personal
information and have given false information. See:
Please also see the report I
submitted to the Federal Trade Commission for their panel on "Cooperation
Between the FTC and Domain Registration Authorities." <attached >
Again, while I do not oppose accurate data per se, I do oppose the Task
Force’s recommendation to enforce accuracy of WHOIS information when the Task
Force has failed to adequately address privacy issues. Minimally,
enforcement of accuracy and insurance of privacy safeguards should be
- · Privacy, Costs, and Consumers Privacy, Consumers,
and Costs: How the Lack of Privacy Costs Consumers and Why Business Studies
of Privacy Costs are Biased and Incomplete, Robert Gellman, March 26, 2002,
- · Trust and Privacy Online: Why Americans Want to
Rewrite the Rules, Pew Internet & American Life Project, August 20,
2000, http://www.pewinternet.org/reports/toc.asp?Report=19; and
- · Graphic, Visualization, & Usability Center 7th
WWW User Survey, April 1997, http://www.gvu.gatech.edu/user_surveys/survey-1997-04/#exec.
As per Ram’s email and the gTLD
constituency’s views on accuracy and privacy, I quote:
am happy to work on the privacy issues report as long as the WHOIS Task Force
can guarantee that enforcement of accuracy and implementation of privacy
safeguards would be concurrent (or that implementation of appropriate privacy
safeguards would precede enforcement of accuracy). This guarantee does
not conflict with the vote taken during the GNSO Council meeting today, as the
GNSO Council specifically and only voted on the WHOIS Task Force’s Final
Report’s consensus policies (see below).
- “My constituency members are saying that they are under considerable
pressure from legal, corporate, community and other bodies to tie
implementation of better accuracy and privacy together, so that enhanced
accuracy standards and mechanisms do not lead to unlawful privacy
methods/practices (for those who operate under the EU Data protection
restrictions, for instance).” http://www.dnso.org/clubpublic/nc-whois/Arc00/msg00932.html
Bruce -- can you please
confirm my interpretation of the GNSO’s vote on the WHOIS Task Force’s Final
WHOIS Task Force
1. Consensus Policies: Accuracy of WHOIS Data.
two policies match the alternative wording proposed in the Implementation
Committee's report, sections 1 and 2, which was accepted by the WHOIS Task
Force. Further comments and additions are marked by underlining.
least annually, a registrar must present to the Registrant the current WHOIS
information, and remind the registrant that provision of false WHOIS
information can be grounds for cancellation of their domain name registration.
Registrants must review their WHOIS data, and make any corrections.
When registrations are deleted on the basis of submission of false contact
data or non-response to registrar inquiries, the redemption grace period --
once implemented -- should be applied. However, the redeemed domain name
should be placed in registrar hold status until the registrant has provided
updated WHOIS information to the registrar-of-record.
The Task Force
observes that the purpose of this policy is to make sure that the redemption
process cannot be used as a tool to bypass registrar's contact correction
2. Consensus Policies: Bulk Access to WHOIS Data.
are no substantial changes to to the policies contained in section 3.2 of the
Policy Report. However, the extensive discussion presented in that report has
been removed in this document. Additionally, some technical changes proposed
by ICANN's General Counsel have been incorporated.
A. Use of bulk
access WHOIS data for marketing should not be permitted. The Task Force
therefore recommends that the obligations contained in the relevant provisions
of the RAA be modified to eliminate the use of bulk access WHOIS data for
marketing purposes. The obligation currently expressed in section 126.96.36.199 of
the RAA could, for instance, be changed to read as follows (changed language
"Registrar's access agreement shall require the third
party to agree not to use the data to allow, enable, or otherwise support any
marketing activities, regardless of the medium used. Such media include but
are not limited to e-mail, telephone, facsimile, postal mail, SMS, and
The bulk-access provision contained in 188.8.131.52 of the
RAA would then become inapplicable.
B. Section 184.108.40.206 of the Registrar
Accreditation Agreement currently describes an optional clause of registrars'
bulk access agreements, which disallows further resale or redistribution of
bulk WHOIS data by data users. The use of this clause shall be made