Struggling to understand why your domain can’t be transferred? Frustrated that you’re being told that because of a new European Union law, your domain transfer has stalled?
You’re not alone. There are three pieces of the puzzle to understand before we proceed:
ICANN is the entity responsible for managing the WHOIS database. ICANN helps deliver ‘One Internet’ for the world by coordinating and administering the DNS system which is comprised of: Domain names, Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, and Protocol parameters. The DNS system is vital - the internet simply cannot function without it. DNS enables your computer to reliably find and connect to other devices, things, or information sources on the Internet no matter where you are physically located in the world so that you can seamlessly find what you want, when you want it.
GDPR went into effect despite the fact that there were known and unresolved compliance issues. ICANN is working towards GDPR compliance. Because of the global scope and impact, a committee of 130 different entities is working to resolve these issues. The committee has created a temporary, next generation directory known as RDAP to replace WHOIS.
Registrars are currently struggling to provide services to clients because ICANN has implemented significant changes that are not GDPR compliant and without providing guidance to registrars as to how they can use RDAP. Registrars must be extremely cautious as GDPR imposes significant fines for companies that fail to comply. Non-compliance penalties and fines can be 2-to-4% of a company’s global revenue.
ICANN has been aware of these issues since before GDPR was adopted. Unfortunately, multi-stakeholder models have a history of advancing only by taking two steps backward for every one forward. This is painfully apparent to registrars and domain owners worldwide who appear to have been abandoned without a solution in sight.