ICANN tries to make WHOIS GDPR-compliant

You may be aware that ICANN is the organisation that oversees the DNS system across the internet.

For the past 3 years, ICANN has been working on the replacement of its ageing WHOIS database, which links domain names to their owners contact information. A key driver is GDPR compliance but the project is being strongly resisted by a number of commercial companies, who want full access to all of the registration information, including home addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses.

It seems that Facebook has been particularly keen to access this data and has cited it’s “legitimate interest” so that it can make sure no one creates domains that could be misconstrued as being related to Facebook.

That might sound quite reasonable, but “legitimate interests” are all about the data subjects’ interests, and that may not be the same thing at all.

The US government is applying much pressure, and even as far back as April 2019 they expressed their concern.

The Register explained it well and you can see the full article here. It will be interesting to see what emerges.