GDPR Forces Registrars to Scramble With Policy Updates

If you’ve not heard about the shot around the world known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and all it impacts, then where have you been?

GDPR is now less than a month away (May 25, 2018), and has greatly impacted a number of entities, both personal and business, worldwide, especially domain registrars.

What is looming in growing uncertainty is how ICANN will respond accordingly to the impact of GDPR on Whois services — which are used by a number of registries, registrars, domain investors and the general public to conduct business on a daily.

I was reminded of all that’s to be realized in the coming month receiving a GoDaddy email (see full email text below) stating its privacy policy is getting updated to be even more transparent than its current status.

Our privacy policy is getting updated with you in mind.

Your data privacy and security are important to us. So we’re updating our privacy policy on May 25, 2018 to make it even more transparent.

Our privacy policy updates will give you more clarity and control over how we collect and use your personal data when delivering our world-class products and services.

Here’s a rundown of what we’re up to:

A shorter, simpler privacy policy. That means less legal-speak and a clearer explanation of what data we collect, how we use it and the rights and tools that are available to you.

We’ve created a Privacy Center. Here you’ll find information, tools and resources to help you take control of your personal data.

We’re preparing for the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This means new requirements as to how we process EU personal data. We embrace these changes, and our policy updates are intended to reflect the transparency this law requires. Learn more here.

We hope you’ll find these updates improve your customer experience and reinforce our commitment to your data privacy and security. If you have any questions or comments, send us a message at [email protected]

Thank you for being a GoDaddy Customer.

All in all, this next update of a shorter, simpler policy is expected to provide GoDaddy customers and the general public greater clarity and control over how they collect and use personal data throughout and across their products and services.

GoDaddy has provided a newly released Privacy Center to help customers take control of their personal data in response and compliance to GDPR.

Although likely nothing more than a “cover your butt” move many to steer clear of massive GDPR fines, the real action that ICANN, registries, registrars and the general public should be fighting to stop or, more importantly, present a more reasonable solution than the current solution of making Whois private by default.

Making Whois private by default is certainly going to be a colossal game-changer for the domain industry, especially for the general public persons and companies that use Whois regularly to contact domain registrants to inquire about purchasing or leasing of a given domain.

I personally use Whois on a daily basis and will be greatly impacted in the future by not having this data open to the general public.

Not knowing how things are going to shake out with GDPR locking down Whois for good, I’ve parked majority of my domains via landing pages with inquiry forms over the last 30 days — having witnessed an uptick of inquiries doing so.

Time will certainly tell how GDPR truly impacts the domain industry as a whole, and whether or not a locked down Whois severely massacres the buying and selling of domains.

What are you thoughts about GDPR, and how it impacts your business or the domain industry at large?

Written by Alvin Brown
He's an experienced and passionate serial entrepreneur, founder and publisher of Kickstart Commerce. Alvin possesses a great love for startups dominating their market using profitable digital strategies for greater commerce.