[council] Review of Registrar disclosure of WHOIS data policies

Maria Farrell maria.farrell at icann.org
Fri Jun 17 16:04:03 UTC 2005

Dear all,

Attached is a revised spreadsheet presenting privacy notification
information on the Top 10 randomly registrars. I have archived the relevant
sections and all urls of the privacy and registration documents for each
registrar at;

http://www.furl.net/members/mfarrell10 , and click on the topic entitled
'Top 10 registrars - whois policies'. 

This spreadsheet analyses the registrars' compliance with section of
the R.A.A., quoting the relevant part of their registration agreements or
privacy policies for each sub-section - 

I've also included some bullet points of analysis, essentially some features
I observed in compiling the data.  These are purely interpretive on my part
and you may of course draw your own conclusions from the data. 

Overall, the data gathered indicates significantly greater uniformity
amongst privacy notification and information among the top 10 registrars
than in the rest of the market.  

*	Between the Top 10 and the randomly chosen registrars, notification
procedures are more or less uniform (i.e. virtually all notify the
registrant using a link and tick box on the payment page).
*	However, information provision about privacy varies significantly.
Most of the Top 10 registrars provide a separate privacy page that is
accessed either directly from the home page or via a link from the customer
registration agreement. Of the randomly chosen 10, only 3 provide a separate
privacy page; one of the three is a New Zealand company affiliated to a top
10 registrar, the other two are UK companies. The sample is too small to
draw any firm conclusions, but it may indicate that both size/visibility and
also the jurisdiction/cultural tradition are two important factors regarding
dedicated privacy pages.   
*	Few registrars explicitly reference the purposes for which data are
collected, but most describe the uses to which it is put. 
*	While most agreements hit all the main relevant points of the
R.A.A., they do so by organising the terms and concepts in very different
ways.  The majority of registrars in both groups appeared to be observing
the R.A.A. in their provision of information on stated uses of personal
*	The randomly chosen registrars seem less likely than the top 10 to
explicitly state the requirement to publish personal data in Whois and/or to
mention ICANN in this context. 

It may be that increased competition and visibility at the top of the market
have made notification and information practices rather more uniform amongst
the top 10 registrars.  
Best regards, Maria
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