ICANN’s RDRS: A Mixed Bag of Opinions and Challenges

The Registration Data Request Service (RDRS) by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has been met with a mixed bag of opinions and challenges. Launched in November 2023, the RDRS aims to provide a standardized and GDPR-compliant format for handling requests for nonpublic registration data related to generic top-level domains (gTLDs). The service connects requestors seeking nonpublic data with ICANN-accredited registrars participating in the service.

Despite its potential, the RDRS has faced challenges and mixed opinions. The service does not guarantee access to requested data, and all communication and data disclosure between registrars and requestors occur outside the system. This has raised concerns about the effectiveness of the service in providing the necessary data.

Additionally, the RDRS user experience has been a subject of discussion. The service provides a centralized platform for managing pending and past requests, creating new requests, and canceling requests when needed. However, some users have reported technical difficulties, such as minimum character limits for justifying complaints and the inability to enter grouped requests.

The RDRS approval rate has also been a point of contention. According to a January 2024 ICANN report, only 11% of applications have been approved since the service’s launch. This low approval rate can be attributed to disparities observed among different registrars, with some automatically denying certain types of requests.

The RDRS remains a significant resource for ICANN-accredited registrars and those with a legitimate interest in nonpublic data. The service simplifies the process for registrars by managing all nonpublic data requests in one location and helps requestors by automatically identifying the correct registrar for a domain name and preventing the need to complete multiple forms with varying required information managed by different registrars.

In conclusion, the RDRS is a significant step towards standardizing access to nonpublic domain registration data. While it faces challenges and mixed opinions, addressing these concerns is crucial to ensuring the service’s effectiveness in providing the necessary data.


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