Data Privacy

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Data privacy concerns the handling of sensitive information, and consumer rights to privacy of their personal information.

Legislation & Regulation

ICANN Policy and PDPs

  • The ICANN Board approved the Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data in response to conflicts between its existing registration policies and the GDPR.[1] The specification was intended to be supplanted within a year by consensus policy developed through an Expedited Policy Development Process (see next bullet). Under these terms, the Temporary Specification expired in May 2019.[2]
  • The Expedited Policy Development Process on the Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data (EPDP) is concerned with enabling the provision of registration data while maintaining compliance with data protection laws. The EPDP was broken into three phases (Phase 1, Phase 2, and Phase 2A). While all of the phases have resulted in final reports to the board, the implementation of policy resulting from the EPDP is ongoing as of December 2021.
  • As part of Phase 1 of the EPDP, the Interim Registration Data Policy was approved by the board in May 2019.[3] The interim policy requires registries and registrars to comply with the Temporary Specification until the Data Registration Policy recommended by EPDP Phase 1 is implemented.[2] It was recommended by the EPDP Phase 1 team that the Data Registration Policy be rolled out by February 2020.
  • The System for Standardized Access/Disclosure was the main focus of the recommendations from the final report of the EPDP Phase 2 working group. The system would permit accredited parties access to protected, anonymized, or proxied registration data upon request, presuming that the request stemmed from a legitimate need for the information.

Means and Methods

Privacy Automation

Privacy automation refers to the non-manual handling of data, notice, consent, and regulatory obligations.[4]

Virtual Private Network

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) creates an encrypted tunnel between the user and a remote server operated by the VPN service. All of that user's internet traffic and data are routed through this tunnel. As the traffic exits the VPN server, the true IP address is hidden, masking the user's identity and location.[5]

Tor Project

The Onion Router (Tor) is a network of volunteer-operated servers that enables people to use the Internet without compromising their privacy. This network connects through a series of virtual tunnels rather than direct connections, also allowing people to reach blocked sites or content.[6]

Organizations & Groups



Overlaps with Cybersecurity

Data security is a central theme of privacy regulations. In addition to codifying an expectation of privacy, most regulations set minimum standards for the treatment, uses, and protection of personal information. Many regulations also specify how companies and organizations should deal with data breaches. Personal information, particularly personally identifying information or financial information is a prime target of cybercriminals. However, whereas data security protects data from leaks caused by (internal or external) malicious actors, data privacy controls the processes involved in data collection, sharing, and usage.[7]