[GNSO-Accuracy-ST] Level Setting

Scott Austin saustin at vlplawgroup.com
Mon Mar 7 22:23:49 UTC 2022

Stephanie’s reference earlier to data quality reminded me that when I started looking at the assignments here on accuracy scoping and definitions back in November, I too hit the books but I choose the online library of Wikipedia for a quick study. I ended up at a page on data quality which considered accuracy as an element. I share the link now because it provides some useful context to further this stage of discussion and the information also shows that the determination of data quality varies depending on the perspective of who is using it and who is managing it, etc.  Among the definitions they provide: from a standards based perspective  "the usefulness, accuracy, and correctness of data for its application" so I guess I will I will go with your correctness option as that appears the closer of your two options.  They also provide from a business perspective: quality data exhibits "'conformance to standards' that have been set, so that fitness for use is achieved”


For those who suggest that a registrant’s data quality submitted is good enough so long as we can contact them I think we still fall short of an important element of quality, accuracy or correctness: reliability.
What if we contact the wrong “them”.

What if the registrant’s name submitted by the submerged account holder is yours, mine or any member on this list but its none of us who submitted it?

Is that data accurate ?
Is that the quality of data that we should accept as “good enough”?

That ICANN and its global user constituency should rely on?

And as for costs, what about the costs to rightsholders, who now have to sue even to obtain the true name and jurisdiction of the one who abuses the rightsholder’s identity, embodied in their business name or mark. But those are just the secondary costs. Lets not overlook the primary costs, often incurred even before the rightsholder has been alerted to the bad actor’s abuse: 1) damages to business reputation, 2) fake substandard goods or services, and 3)phished identities and financial data of unsuspecting customers.

Privacy should be protected; fabricated anonymity to encourage identity impersonation, fraud and phishing and assist in evading detection and liability for abuse should not.
Best regards,

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From: GNSO-Accuracy-ST <gnso-accuracy-st-bounces at icann.org> On Behalf Of Michael Palage
Sent: Sunday, March 6, 2022 2:32 PM
To: gnso-accuracy-st at icann.org
Subject: [GNSO-Accuracy-ST] Level Setting

Hello All,

I am looking forward to a productive ICANN73 public session tomorrow.

I spent the past several days trying to digest all of the exchanges that took place last Thursday. While I think we are close to wrapping up our work on Assignments 1 & 2, I think it would be constructive to quickly level set and make sure we are all on the same page to minimize potential future confusion.

Part of my level setting involved going back to the original GNSO Council’s charge to the Scoping Team which asked is there “an agreed definition of registration data accuracy and, if not, consider what working definitions should be used in the context of the Scoping Team's deliberations.” See https://community.icann.org/display/AST/2.+Council+Instructions+to+Scoping+Team<https://community.icann.org/display/AST/2.+Council+Instructions+to+Scoping+Team>

This task at first blush seems simple enough, but as we have learned there have been several concerns raised in connection with the use of the term “definition” and the meaning of “accuracy.” Therefore, instead of using the term “definition” as proposed by the GNSO Council I propose that we use the phrase “current contractual requirements and enforcement construct.” I believe this should meet the concerns of the RrSG that have repeatedly raised concerns about “providing a definition” and the concerns of the GAC and others about how a definition might bias future discussions.

Is there any objection to us using the phrase “current contractual requirements and enforcement construct?”  If so please explain your objection and proposed alternative suggestion.

Next we need to tackle what I have deemed the accuracy conundrum. The intervention by Stephanie this past week reminded me of some previous research that I was doing which I decided to revisit. I think Stephanie hit the nail on the head when she talked about how “accuracy” to most people conveys a binary choice, e.g. the data is accurate or is the data inaccurate.  It is a black or white answer with no room for grey. In fact this seemed to align closely with the RrSG proposed “current contractual requirements and enforcement construct.” If the data collected meets syntactical validation and either the email or phone number was operationally verified, then the data provided by the Registrant was “accurate” per their interpretation of the 2013 RAA.

So I decided to spend a couple of hours researching the definition and origins of the word “accuracy” online and with an old school trip to the local library. I believe this definition of the word “accuracy” best describes the conundrum that we as a group find ourselves.

noun, plural
1.           the condition or quality of being true, correct, or exact; freedom from error or defect; precision or exactness; correctness.
2.           Chemistry, Physics. the extent to which a given measurement agrees with the standard value for that measurement. Compare precision (def. 6).
3.           Mathematics. the degree of correctness of a quantity, expression, etc. Compare precision (def. 5).

Source Dictionary.com

Now the first definition “being true, correct, or exact; freedom from error or defect” is a rather high bar, particularly if you are applying this bar to all registration data elements processed like some working group members have advocated. However, that bar is substantially lower if free from defect simply means that the data collected by the Registrar was syntactically correct and a Registrar at a point in time got an affirmative response from either telephone number or an email.

Alternatively, the third definition of a “degree of correctness” suggests something other than a binary accurate or inaccurate response.  Therefore to help steer our future discussions I would like everyone to answer the following question:

Question #1

For purposes of our Working Group the term accuracy should be defined as:

[  ] true, correct and free from error; or

[  ] degree of correctness;


I think once we get clarity and/or agreement on these points, we should have a more clearly defined path forward for our post ICANN73 call.

Best regards,


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