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RDRS: Calling All Registrars!

Calling all registrars! ICANN is set to launch the Registration Data Request Service (RDRS), and the Registrar Stakeholder Group encourages ICANN registrars to participate.

For those who haven’t been closely following ICANN policy, the RDRS is a step on the path of policy development working to bring our registration data processing requirements into line with data protection laws. One important aspect of data processing is how registrars receive and respond to requests for disclosure of domain name registration data in a manner that is compliant with these laws. The ICANN Community is considering building a centralized System for Standardized Access and Disclosure of non-public gTLD Registration Data, and the RDRS is intended as a pilot project to gather data on the potential volume of usage for that future system.

Registrar participation in the RDRS pilot project is voluntary, but it is extremely important that enough registrars participate to ensure an accurate representation of the overall volume of data requests across our industry. It’s also an opportunity for us to get an operational taste of a system that might ultimately make our jobs easier. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • Quality – Registrars, especially those that receive a high volume of requests, deal with the challenge of inconsistent quality, missing information, and non-standard reports. This slows down the review and disclosure process. We’re hopeful that the RDRS will clean up the request stream, improving the quality of requests and making the review process faster and more efficient—and that benefits everyone.
  • Security – The RDRS offers an improvement over less secure reporting channels such as plaintext email. This can help registrars meet their security and data protection commitments.
  • Know Your Requestor – The old WHOIS system (especially Port 43) was entirely anonymous. The changes since GDPR, including this RDRS pilot project, will permit registrars to know who is making the data request and for what purpose.
  • Support the Multistakeholder Model – Registrars have contributed to the development of the Temporary Specification, new Consensus Policies governing Registration Data (both Phase 1 and Phase 2), and the design of the RDRS Pilot. Participating in the program demonstrates our commitment to the multistakeholder model of DNS policy development and self-regulation.
  • Help Collect Real-World Data – Like any pilot project, the RDRS is intended to test the viability of the proposed system and generate actual usage data. These learnings could change the underlying assumptions that led to the creation of the system, improve it, or demonstrate that the RDRS isn’t needed at all. We don’t know what we don’t know, and only broad Registrar participation in the pilot program will yield these insights.

The Registrar Stakeholder Group has developed a quick reference that we hope will help you decide to opt into the pilot.

RDRS Registration Data Request Service: RrSG Perspective (Download PDF)

Take a look and feel free to contact [email protected] or visit ICANN’s RDRS page if you have any questions about the pilot or how to participate.

Heineman is currently Chair of the ICANN Registrar Stakeholder Group and she served as the US government representative on ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee from 2016 to 2019.

By Ashley Heineman, Director of Government and Industry Affairs at GoDaddy

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