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PDP gTLD Registration Data Services

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PDP Termination

On the 24 October 2018, the GNSO Council voted in favour of the motion to terminate the Next-Generation gTLD Registration Directory Service (RDS) to replace WHOIS Policy Development Process.

Accordingly, no further RDS PDP WG meetings will be held, and this workspace reflects progress made prior to RDS PDP termination.

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.


Working Group 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: Not Applicable

  • Public Comment Forum: Not Applicable


Working Group Proposed Final Report

Submitted on: Not Applicable


Working Group Final Report

Submitted on: Not Applicable


GNSO Adoption of the Final Report

Adopted on: Not Applicable


GNSO Council Report to the ICANN Board

Submitted on: Not Applicable


Public Comment Prior to ICANN Board Consideration

Submitted on: Not Applicable


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

Submitted on: Not Applicable


Board Paper

Submitted on: Not Applicable


ICANN Board Resolution Text

Adopted on: Not Applicable


Notice of Policy Actions

Adopted on: Not Applicable


Implementation Details

  • Not Applicable

Additional Information