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Data Accuracy is the state of error-free records that can be used as a reliable source of information. Types of data accuracy discussed by the GNSO's Registration Data Accuracy Scoping Team include: syntactical, operational, and validated.[1]

Related Debates

Where people fall in terms of the following debates may affect their perspectives on the value of achieving complete data accuracy.

What's more important? Data Privacy or Cybersecurity

  • The Data Privacy camp,[2] such as proponents of GDPR, argues natural persons have a right to their privacy and encourages limiting broad access to accurate personal or identifying data.
  • Cybersecurity workers and enthusiasts insist that data accuracy is important to mitigating DNS Abuse as law enforcement agencies and regulatory bodies need it for notifying victims, acting as a dissuading factor for bad actors, and ultimately catching perpetrators.[3]

Will Ensuring Data Accuracy actually stop bad actors

  • Data registration regulation flowing down the ICANN hierarchy may not reach malicious activity because hackers do not provide accurate email addresses, money trails, or registration data.[4]


On 21 October 2020, the GNSO Council adopted a proposal that recommended that a Scoping Team address the effects of GDPR on Registration Data accuracy requirements and the Whois Accuracy Reporting System (ARS). On 22 July 2021, the GNSO Council confirmed the formation of the Accuracy Scoping Team tasked to consider accuracy-related factors such as the current enforcement, reporting, measurement, and overall effectiveness of accuracy-related efforts. These considerations will inform the deliberations and development of recommendations to the GNSO Council to improve accuracy levels.[5]
In October 2021, the scoping team began its deliberations, focusing on defining, enforcing, reporting, and measuring accuracy. As of ICANN 75, the team focused on proposals that do not require access to gTLD registration data, such as a registrar survey or registrar audit, but is concerned about low participation.[6] Specifically, the Scoping Team recommended to the GNSO Council:[7]

  1. requests that ICANN org carry out a Registrar Survey
  2. explore the option of conducting a Registrar Audit


  1. pause the work involving proposals requiring access to registration data until it's a viable path
  2. request that ICANN org proceed with their outreach to EDPB with urgency as well as DPIA in connection with the scenarios
  3. encourage the finalizing the DPA between ICANN org and Contracted Parties

The ICANN Board has also directed ICANN Organization to develop scenarios for obtaining access to gTLD registration data to confirm accuracy that could be tested with the European Data Protection Board (EDPB). As of September 2022, the EDPB has not responded.

On November 17, 2022, the GNSO Council resolved to pause the work in relation to proposals that require access to registration data, 2) encourage ICANN org to proceed with their outreach to the EDPB and the Data Protection Impact Assessment, and 3) request that ICANN org and Contracted Parties finalize the negotiations on the Data Processing Agreement (DPA).[8]

Scoping Team Members:[9]


  1. Registration Data Accuracy Scoping Team Meeting, GNSO, ICANN 72
  2. Data Privacy Associations, Privacy Bee
  3. Gabriel Andrews, of the FBI, representing the Public Safety Working Group, on the GAC Discussions: IGO Protection Matters and DNS Abuse Mitigation Panel, ICANN 72
  4. Theo Geurts, presenting on a DNS Abuse Dashboard at the GNSO: NCSG Membership Meeting, ICANN 72]
  5. GNSO Council Project List, August 2022, Community, ICANN
  6. EPDP-IDNs Background, GNSO Sessions, ICANN 75 Policy Outlook
  7. Accuracy Scoping Team Sessions, ICANN 75
  8. November 17, 2022 Resolutions, GNSO Council, ICANN
  9. Accuracy Scoping Team Members, Community, ICANN