[whois-sc] Draft 2 of Task force 3 terms of reference
Hello All, I have updated the terms of reference for task force 3 taking into account the email comments from Steve Metalitz and the discussion over the teleconference. Attached is a red-line version, and there is a plain text equivalent at the bottom of this message. The major changes are: - added consumer fraud as an example of a legal issue - Added a reference to the OECD Guidelines for Consumer Protection in the Context of Electronic Commerce. Note as members of the committee pointed out, WHOIS is of course not the only way such guidelines can be met. Ideally a business engaged in electronic commerce would meet such guidelines based on their website alone. I guess given that websites often do not comply with these guidelines, some consumers use the WHOIS to obtain information on the business. - Clarified that the GNSO constituencies when viewed in the aggregate rated accuracy as a top 5 issue - Added other elements that MAY be verified (noting however that over time some of these elements may no longer be compulsory - for consideration in area 2) - added text to indicate that approaches other than the contact information itself could be used to identify suspect registrants (e.g a registration from an IP address associated with a country different to the address provided by the registrant may signal a need for further investigation). I note that registrars often use a range of techniques to prevent credit card fraud. There is high correlation between names that have been registered with fraudulent credit cards, and false contact information. Thus many potential registrations do not go through today due to checking carried out by some registrars. Best practice documents in the area of credit card fraud may assist in the area of improving accuracy - although there is some sensitivity in publishing such information, as it helps some registrants avoid the best practice controls. - I have noted that the new policy mechanisms to improve accuracy need to be evaluated - I have clarified the text in the last action item to indicate that the mechanisms to handle deliberate false information are the responsibility of this task force and not some future policy development process. Regards, Bruce Title: Improving Accuracy of collected data Participants: - 1 representative from each constituency - ALAC liaison - GAC liaison - ccNSO liaison - SECSAC liaison - liaisons from other GNSO WHOIS task forces Description of Task Force: ========================== Data is collected from registrants at the time of registration to facilitate future contact of the registrant for a range of reasons including business issues (for example problems with payment), security and stability issues (for example relating to fraudulent use of a domain name, or failure of a nameserver associated with a domain name), intellectual property infringement, and other legal issues (e.g use of a domain name as part of [**INSERT a consumer fraud] or a criminal activity). Many users of the data perceive that there is an unacceptable level of inaccuracy in the data that compromises its ability to facilitate identifying and contacting registrants. Data quality has been recognised as important by several groups. For example one of the OECD Privacy Guidelines (from: http://cs3-hq.oecd.org/scripts/pwv3/pwhome.htm) states that: "Personal data should be relevant to the purposes for which they are to be used, and, to the extent necessary for those purposes, should be accurate, complete and kept up-to-date"." [**INSERT The OECD Guidelines for Consumer Protection in the Context of Electronic Commerce (from: http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/5/34/1824782.pdf ) states that: "Businesses engaged in electronic commerce with consumers should provide accurate, clear and easily accessible information about themselves" and "Businesses should not exploit the special characteristics of electronic commerce to hide their true identity or location, or to avoid compliance with consumer protection standards and/or enforcement mechanisms".] The ICANN Security and Stability Committee (from: http://www.icann.org/committees/security/whois-recommendation-01dec02.ht m) stated that: "It is essential that Whois data used to provide contact information for the party responsible for an Internet resource is validated at the time of a registrant's initial registration and on a regular basis thereafter." [**REPLACE Three WITH The] GNSO constituencies rated the issue of data quality with respect to procedures currently followed by registrars to promote accurate, complete and up-to-date data as one of their top 5 priority issues (see: [**INSERT http://www.gnso.icann.org/issues/whois-privacy/table-whois-privacy-issue .shtml,] and issue 6 in the WHOIS Privacy Issues Report at: http://www.icann.org/gnso/issue-reports/whois-privacy-report-13may03.htm ). The main issues associated with data quality include: - verification of data at the time of registration - ongoing maintenance of data during the period of registration - protecting against deliberate submission of false information The types of contact data that may be verified for correctness include [**INSERT name (registrant, admin, technical and billing), domain name,] postal address, email address, fax number, phone number, [**INSERT and other domain name related data.] Verification software can attempt to verify that a particular data element is correctly formatted and exists. Note however it is often difficult to obtain such software that works on a global basis. Another issue is ensuring that the data is actually associated with the registrant (for example there have been incidents of identity fraud, where the data is completely verifiable but associated with another person). Domain names are provided purely electronically, and rarely involve delivery of a service to a physical address, or delivery to a physical person. This makes [**INSERT automated ] verification more difficult. The recent WHOIS policy development process created a new policy called the WHOIS data reminder policy (http://www.icann.org/registrars/wdrp.htm) that creates a process where a registrant is reminded on an annual basis to update the WHOIS data. There is also an established process whereby a user of the data may lodge a complaint with a registrar to get the contact data corrected. If the registrant does not correct the information, a registrar may cancel the domain name licence. (see clause 188.8.131.52 of the Registrar Accreditation Agreement http://www.icann.org/registrars/ra-agreement-17may01.htm). The recent WHOIS policy process also included a new policy to ensure that the redemption grace period could not be used as a mechanism to avoid these provisions (see Section 1B of http://www.icann.org/registrars/ra-agreement-17may01.htm). It is difficult to use verification or maintenance approaches for registrants that deliberately provide false information. The high-cost mechanisms to verify contact information with a high degree of uncertainty can be easily evaded by low-cost mechanisms at the disposal of some registrants. In such cases it may be necessary to collect additional information associated with an online registration to aid in contacting the registrant including credit card information, source IP addresses, and website traffic logs, [**INSERT or use other approaches to identify registrations with suspected false information.] It also may be necessary to create expedited procedures for responding to misuse of a domain name associated with deliberately false information. The purpose of this task force is to develop mechanisms to improve the quality of contact data collected at the time of registration. Out-of-scope ============ To ensure that the task force remains narrowly focussed to ensure that its goal is reasonably achievable and within a reasonable time frame, it is necessary to be clear on what is not in scope for the task force. Given that [**REPLACE the previous GNSO WHOIS task force has WITH previous ICANN policy changes (http://www.icann.org/minutes/minutes-27mar03.htm) have] addressed issues associated with maintaining accurate information (WHOIS data reminder policy, and mechanisms for handling complaints about inaccurate data), this will not be studied in this task force. [**INSERT The effectiveness of these mechanisms will need to be evaluated by the ICANN staff and reported to the GNSO (for example 12 months after implementation of the policies). Note not all the policy changes agreed by the ICANN Board in March 2003 are implemented as of October 2003.] The task force should not consider issues associated with changing the data elements that are collected. This is the subject of a separate task force. The task force should not consider mechanisms for restricting the public display for some data elements, which may lead to a reduction in the provision of false information by those registrants seeking to protect their privacy. This is the subject of a separate task force. Tasks/Milestones ================ - collect information on the current techniques that registrars use to verify that the data collected is correct. For example techniques to detect typing errors by registrants intending to provide correct information. Survey approaches used by cctlds to verify that the contact data collected is correct. - collect information on techniques used by other online service providers (where there is no physical contact with the registrant and no physical delivery of goods or services) to verify that data collected is correct. - create a best practices document for improving data verification based on the information collected that can be applied on a global basis - determine whether any changes are required in the contracts to specify what data verification is necessary at time of collection to improve accuracy - determine what verification mechanisms can be used cost effectively to combat the deliberate provision of false information, and determine whether [**REPLACE further policy development is WITH additional mechanisms are ] necessary to provide traceability of registrants, or provide for more timely responses for misuse of domain names associated with deliberately false information.