Tag Archives: privacy

California begins enforcing digital privacy law, despite calls for delay

California’s privacy law, often called the broadest law for digital privacy in the United States, can finally be enforced starting Wednesday. And despite industry calls for the state to hold off because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, Attorney General Xavier Becerra is forging ahead.

Continue reading California begins enforcing digital privacy law, despite calls for delay

.NZ Gets Another Victory In DomainTools Battle Over registrant Privacy Rights

New Zealand’s Domain Name Commission (DNC) had their third victory in three appearances in their ongoing court battle with DomainTools, the latest being in March. DomainTools had appealed three claims, following losing their first appeal, but won only one, while the DNC won the remaining two, with consideration being given by the DNC to appeal the remaining claim. It is a battle over whether a top-level domain registry protect the privacy of their registrants. As Jordan Carter, InternetNZ’s CEO, told the Goldstein Report back in March 2019, “this test case will be significant for protecting the privacy rights of .nz registrants in the .nz domain name space and it is likely to have an impact on other ccTLDs and the wider industry.” It seems that the privacy rights of .nz registrants has been protected.

Continue reading .NZ Gets Another Victory In DomainTools Battle Over registrant Privacy Rights

CIRA Provides Canadians With Free DNS Firewall To Enhance Security And Privacy

Canada’s ccTLD registry, CIRA, has made the internet a bit safer and more private this week with the launch of CIRA Canadian Shield – a free DNS firewall service that will provide online privacy and security to individuals and families across Canada.

Continue reading CIRA Provides Canadians With Free DNS Firewall To Enhance Security And Privacy

Investing in Privacy Shows Benefits Averaging 2.7 Times Investment: Cisco

Organisations, on average, receive benefits 2.7 times their investment, and more than 40% are seeing benefits that are at least twice that of their privacy spend according to Cisco’s 2020 Data Privacy Benchmark Study. Privacy has become a big issue globally in recent years, particularly following the introduction of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that caused domain name registrars and registries to make major changes to their practices.

The Cisco study, released in observance of International Data Privacy Day, also found that up from 40% last year, over 70% of organisations now say they receive significant business benefits from privacy efforts beyond compliance, including better agility, increased competitive advantage and improved attractiveness to investors, and greater customer trust.

Other benefits included companies with higher accountability scores (as assessed using the Centre for Information Policy Leadership’s Accountability Wheel, a framework for managing and assessing organisational maturity) experience lower breach costs, shorter sales delays, and higher financial returns while 82% of organisations see Privacy Certifications as a Buying Factor. These included privacy certifications such as the ISO 27701,  EU/Swiss-US Privacy Shield, and APEC Cross Border Privacy Rules system becoming an important buying factor when selecting a third-party vendor. India and Brazil topped the list with 95% of respondents agreeing external certifications are now an important factor.

In a blog post, Robert Waitman, Director, Data Privacy Security and Trust Office at Cisco said “the results of this study highlight that privacy is good for business, beyond any compliance requirements.” Waitman writes Cisco recommends organisations:

  • Invest in privacy beyond the legal minimum; most organizations are seeing very positive returns on their privacy spending.
  • Work to obtain external privacy certifications; these have become an important factor in the buying process.
  • Build in privacy accountability and maturity to achieve security benefits, reduced sales delays, and higher returns.

Cisco’s 2020 Data Privacy Benchmark Study is their third annual look into corporate data privacy practices worldwide and shows growing tangible benefits for businesses that adopt strong privacy practices.

The study is based on results from a double-blind survey of over 2,800 security professionals in organisations of various sizes across 13 countries. It provides deep insight into the state of privacy a year and a half after the effective date of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), widely considered a turning point on how organisations control and manage the use of personal data. Customer demands for increased data protection and privacy, the ongoing threat of data breaches and misuse by both unauthorised and authorised users, and preparation for the GDPR and similar laws around the globe spurred many organisations to make considerable privacy investments – which are now delivering strong returns.

The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), introduced in May 2018 but adopted in 2016, has been a focus in the domain name world due to required changes to contact information that has been required for WHOIS and ICANN’s ham-fisted attempts to deal with the situation which led to ICANN losing multiple court actions and exemptions provided to many registrars located within the EU regarding information they were required to collect under their Registrar Accreditation Agreements. Additionally, almost all, if not all, country code top level domain (ccTLD) registries located either within the EU or who allowed EU citizens to register their domains were required to make changes as to the information they required registrars to collect upon registering a domain name.

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Radix’s Karn Jajoo Discusses GDPR Benefits, How New gTLDs Are Looking Good and Radix’s Impressive Growth

In the latest Domain Pulse Q&A, we talk to Karn Jajoo, Head of Premium Portfolio at Radix, the registry behind successful new domain extensions such as .TECH, .STORE, .ONLINE, .SPACE and .SITE. Radix is one of the world’s largest nTLD portfolio registries with over 4M domains under management.

Jajoo discusses Radix’s impressive growth in 2018, the positive impact of the EU’s GDPR has been it’s spawned privacy discussions in developing countries with local data privacy laws, how registries should be deploying a long-term strategy now and keep away from the practice of trying to sell as many names as possible and instead focus on sustainable growth and usage and that the wider industry is developing products to support. Not unsurprisingly, Jajoo is excited about the prospects for the new generic top-level domains.

Domain Pulse: What were the highlights, lowlights and challenges of 2018 in the domain name industry for you?

Karn Jajoo: 2018 was a great year for new domains with some solid premium sales across top nTLDs, and two premium name sales over $500,000 that have set a new benchmark. Good meaningful names in suitable extensions will continue to find end users willing to pay a premium price.

Many globally popular brands warmed up to using new domains with the industry experiencing increasing adoption across different verticals globally.

There was also a 25% YoY growth in overall new domain registrations from registrars outside China; in fact, there were a total of 10 million registrations in 2018 vs 8 million in 2017. Specifically for us, it was a great year as Radix grossed $16.95M in total revenue in 2018, a 30% rise over its revenue in 2017. Radix’s net profit also grew by 45.6% in comparison to last year.

One of the biggest challenges for the new domains industry still remains to be the mindset within the domain industry. While there has been a gradual but definite shift in the perception of nTLDs within the domain industry, I think for many folks, an inherent conflict of interest leads to skepticism. Such biases need to be checked given the success of so many good nTLDs and plenty of use cases that continue to thrive.

DP: GDPR – good, bad and/or indifferent to you and the wider industry and why?

KJ: Much like others within the domains industry as well as other industries across the globe, the exercise to implement these changes in processes was challenging, and often confusing. Although, I don’t think we could classify it as good or bad. Instead of a binary judgment, we should look at it as a welcome change as far as the protection of private data is concerned.

On one hand, the domain industry seems to have coped well with the regulations that came into effect last year. On the other hand, DNS security agencies and counter abuse efforts have suffered a setback with redacted WHOIS information. The one positive effect of GDPR has been that data privacy discussions have spawned in other developing nations leading to the formation of local data privacy laws.

DP: What are you looking forward to in 2019?

KJ: As Radix, we are looking forward to becoming the biggest nTLD operator globally, and at the current growth pace, that could happen soon! We are already the only nTLD portfolio registry that has two of its TLDs with over 1 million domain registrations each.

We are also excited about the increasing number of startups that are investing in and using new gTLDs. Owing to the booming startup ecosystem globally, we can expect a lot of room for growth in new gTLDs in 2019. Our Startup League initiative now has 300+ startups that we are actively supporting.

As top nTLDs get more mainstream, their usage and acceptance would steadily increase, and so will the value of premium domains on nTLDs. We expect to make some big-ticket sales in 2019 and beyond.

DP: What challenges and opportunities do you see for the year ahead?

KJ: Registries should be deploying a long-term strategy now and keep away from the practice of trying to sell as many names as possible and instead focus on sustainable growth and usage.

A big positive for this industry is that partners such as domain marketplaces, brokerages, etc. are building more products and allocating time and resources towards marketing and selling new TLDs. Site builder SaaS platforms of all sizes are also starting to enhance their domains play and are understanding the importance of domain names as the gateway to more sales of their products.

DP: 2019 will mark 5 years since the first new gTLDs came online. How do you view them now?

KJ: Most extensions have been active for 2-4 years now and there is adequate channel and customer feedback on various aspects such as market segmentation, geographies, pricing etc. There has been considerable consolidation in the industry and many extensions that shouldn’t have existed in the first place are either declining in registrations or have ceased to exist, while meaningful extensions that offer customers genuine value have continued to grow.

Customer awareness and acceptance continues to be a challenge and an opportunity. We will continue to see a growing number of new domains spotted ‘in the wild’. We have a high decibel digital marketing campaign targeting end consumers running through various media channels for our flagship generic TLD, .ONLINE. We did similar campaigns for .STORE and .TECH last year and we can see their impact on the business.

I feel registries should be doing as much as possible to increase the pace of building awareness by communicating their value proposition.

DP: Are domain names as relevant now for consumers – business, government, and individuals – as they have been in the past?

KJ: I think domain names are more relevant now than ever. Trust between social media and consumers was shaken many times in the last couple of years and businesses realise that they need to ‘own their property’ i.e. their touchpoint with their customers or followers. If they only rely and build upon the property of someone else, they will always risk losing control of that relationship. Such dependence on social media has impaired many businesses which relied heavily on them for revenue or growth of the community. A good domain is an investment into your own brand and thus the best names will continue seeing higher valuations and interest in the coming years.

Previous Q&As in this series were with:

  • EURid, manager of the .eu top level domain (available here)
  • Katrin Ohlmer, CEO and founder of DOTZON GmbH (here)
  • Afilias’ Roland LaPlante (here)
  • DotBERLIN’s Dirk Krischenowski (here)
  • DENIC (here)
  • Internet.bs’ Marc McCutcheon (here)
  • nic.at’s Richard Wein (here)
  • Neustar’s George Pongas (here)
  • CentralNic’s Ben Crawford (here)
  • CIRA’s David Fowler (here)
  • Jovenet Consulting’s Jean Guillon (here)
  • GGRG’s Giuseppe Graziano (here)
  • Blacknight Solutions’ Michele Neylon (here)
  • Public Interest Registry’s President and CEO Jon Nevett (here)
  • ICANN board member and founding auDA CEO Chris Disspain (here)
  • InternetNZ’s Chief Executive Jordan Carter (here).

If you’d like to participate in this Domain Pulse series with industry figures, please contact David Goldstein at Domain Pulse by email to david[at]goldsteinreport.com.

ICANN Reaffirms gTLD Registration Data Temporary Specification in Defiance of German Courts

Although ICANN isn’t technically American, there’s a growing difference of opinion between Europe and “America” over how to deal with the collection of domain name registrant’s registration, or Whois, data. Despite going down 4-0 to German courts in a dispute where EPAG is refusing to abide by ICANN’s requirement to collect registration data, ICANN has continued to insist registrars and registries collect the data they require for gTLDs. Continue reading ICANN Reaffirms gTLD Registration Data Temporary Specification in Defiance of German Courts