PDP gTLD Registration Data Services

Last Updated: 20 August 2018

Following ICANN61, the RDS PDP Leadership decided to put on hold WG meetings indefinitely. This decision was made in light of the uncertain status of GDPR-related work, noting it would ultimately be up to the GNSO Council to determine the status of the RDS PDP going forward. Now that the GNSO Council has initiated an EPDP on the Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data, triggered by the Board's adoption of the Temporary Specification. The RDS PDP leadership team and the WG will need to consider next steps which could include recommending to the GNSO Council to terminate or suspend this effort as it is understood that this WG cannot continue its deliberations in parallel to the EPDP.

Please note that the documents linked below related to the PDP are provided for informational purposes. Some documents are produced by the GNSO and others are not. To learn about the materials on the Active Project pages, please see this overview.


Comprehensive 'Whois' policy reform remains the source of long-running discussions within the ICANN as well as wider Internet community. Any discussion of 'Whois' – hereafter called gTLD registration data and directory services – typically includes topics such as purpose, accuracy, availability, privacy, anonymity, cost, policing, intellectual property protection, security and malicious use and abuse.

On 8 November 2012 the ICANN Board passed a resolution that led to the creation of an Expert Working Group (EWG) and, in parallel, also launched this Board-initiated GNSO Policy Development Process (PDP). The Board specifically called out two of these topics in its request; purpose and accuracy. With regard to purpose, at a minimum the most basic purpose, which is commonly accepted, is that gTLD registration data allows domain name holders to be contacted. However, who would be granted the right to access the data under what circumstances and contact the holder and by which means, is a set of difficult follow-up questions that need to be answered. In relation to accuracy, There are many data elements in the Whois database required under the Registry Agreements and the Registrar Accreditation Agreements; if only one of these data fields is incorrect, does that mean the Whois information is inaccurate? And how can the accuracy of data be verified and/or measured, especially considering that if data is not accurate the purpose of gathering the data might be questionable in the first place.

Upon publication of the EWG's Final Report in June, 2014, an informal group of Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Councilors and ICANN Board members collaborated to propose a Process Framework for structuring a GNSO Policy Development Process (PDP) to successfully address these challenging issues.

On 26 May, 2015, the ICANN Board adopted that Process Framework and reaffirmed its 2012 request for a Board-initiated PDP to define the purpose of collecting, maintaining and providing access to gTLD registration data, and to consider safeguards for protecting data, using the recommendations in the EWG's Final Report as an input to, and, if appropriate, as the foundation for a new gTLD policy.


Initiation Status

A new Preliminary Issue Report was published for public comment on 13 July 2015. Following review of the public comments received, the Issue Report was updated accordingly and submitted as the Final Issue Report to the GNSO Council for its consideration on 7 October 2015.

On 19 November 2015, the GNSO Council approved the Draft Charter proposed in the Final Issue Report and directed ICANN staff to issue a call for volunteers for the PDP WG. This WG convened at the end of January 2016.

Web Presence

Responsible Staff Members

  • Marika Konings

ICANN Board Request for a Preliminary Issue Report

Resolved (2015.04.26.10), the Board reaffirms its request for a Board-initiated GNSO policy development process to define the purpose of collecting, maintaining and providing access to gTLD registration data, and consider safeguards for protecting data, using the recommendations in the Final Report [PDF, 5.12 MB] as an input to, and, if appropriate, as the foundation for a new gTLD policy […]

Preliminary Issue Report

Submitted on: 13 July 2015

Final Issue Report

Submitted on: 7 October 2015

GNSO Resolution on the Initiation of the PDP:

Adopted on: 19 November 2015

Summary: Resolved … [see link for details]

Working Group Charter

Adopted on: 19 November 2015


Input from Supporting Organizations/Advisory Committees and GNSO Stakeholder Groups/Constituencies


Working Group Initial Report

Submitted on: TBD


Working Group Proposed Final Report

Submitted on: TBD


Working Group Final Report

Submitted on: TBD


GNSO Adoption of the Final Report

Adopted on: TBD


GNSO Council Report to the ICANN Board

Submitted on: TBD


Public Comment Prior to ICANN Board Consideration

Submitted on: TBD


Notification by the ICANN Board to the GAC to Request Input on Whether Policy Recommendations Raise Public Policy Issues

Submitted on: TBD


Board Paper

Submitted on: TBD


ICANN Board Resolution Text

Adopted on: TBD


Notice of Policy Actions

Adopted on: TBD


Implementation Details

  • TBD

Additional Information