201804.22

GDPR, Whois and the United States DoC

In a month, on 25 May 2018, the much talked about General Data Protection Regulation GDPR will come into force.
Much has already been said and written about the consequences of compliance with the new regulation on Whois data.
The closer we get to said implementation date of 25 May 2018, the more ICANN and its IPC – Intellectual Property Constituency of the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) – advance explanations and arguments on the specificity and importance of Whois data for the protection of Intellectual Property rights.
For instance, based on WHOIS data, users can identify different brand related domain names that might be owned by the same third (unauthorized) party. This evidence of an abusive conduct in registration is used in the preparation of complaints such as UDRPs.
The most recent clarification of what is at stake for IP Rights owners and their representatives is the letter sent by the US Secretary of Commerce to the EU Commissioner for Justice.This letter addresses the issue of how to square the circle between the compliance with the GDPR provisions on the one hand and the preservation of an access to the Whois data, (declared a top priority for the United States) on time for 25 May 2018.
More to follow when we shall see the EC’s reply to that letter.