Time Barred ICANN Releases Temporary WHOIS Specs Plan for GDPR Compliance as Deadline Looms

ICANN has finally published an interim European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Whois safety net called Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data in a last minute bit to ensure that WHOIS is GDPR compliant all the while maintaining the existing WHOIS system to the greatest extent possible.

The plan is subject to further revision prior to a board vote, the model proposes the establishment of a mechanism to allow contact with domain name registrants – while cloaking their identity.

This comes weeks after ICANN’s begging spree trip to Brussels with the European Union’s data protection authorities (DPAs) failed to secure a moratorium to delay the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) implementation. While welcoming the decision of ICANN to propose an interim model which involves layered access, the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party (WP29) raised a number of concerns.

Trevor Little reporting in World Trademark Review wrote: “Last week, ICANN sent a new letter to the WP29, seeking further clarification and, crucially, asking whether the plans currently submitted were sufficient to not result in immediate fines for non-compliance. A day later, on Friday, Cherine Chalaby, chair of the ICANN board of directors, wrote to the Government Advisory Committee (GAC), to give official notification that it may be rejecting aspects of the GAC advice related to WHOIS.”

ICANN’s effort to streamline its WHOIS to GDPR standards has been tumultuous withs several workign group resignations.  Online reports are that the Registration Data Services PDP working group chair Chuck Gomes threw in the towel late last week, resigning from the group shortly after cancelling proposed face-to-face meetings scheduled for the Panama ICANN meeting in June.  This comes shorlty after Stephanie Perrin Resigned from PDP gTLD Registration Data Services

Stephanie said

After much thought, I have decided to resign from this PDP.  I wish you all the very best, and I am certain that the work will speed up considerably without my frequent interventions:-)  I believe this process is fundamentally flawed and does not reflect well on the MS model, so I am afraid that I can no longer, in all conscience, continue to participate.

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