New registrar data escrow service agent coming to EuroDNS

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What're you gonna do when Bruce Willis or Daniel Craig fail to stop a massive cyberattack against the world's domain name registrars? You're gonna call in the Schwarzenegger of the domain industry - a registrar data escrow (RDE) service agent! See how RDE works and why EuroDNS is migrating to a new agent.

Registrar data escrow agents, data protection superheroes!

RDE is essential to the protection of data associated with a registered domain name, ensuring that no data is ever lost or inaccessible. RDE service agents are subject to the approval of ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) and, once approved, must adhere to certain best practices that ensure:

  • Up-to-date copies of domain name ownership and contact details are held in escrow by a trusted, neutral third party.
  • This data is only accessed and released under pre-defined and controlled conditions.
  • Registrants' interests are safeguarded in the event of a business or technical failure.

Ultimately, RDE provides crucial data protection and backup for registrars who are, for whatever reason, unable to provide their own services. And RDE services have become even more critical for the domain name system now that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has kicked in. Every registrar is now bound by privacy laws designed to hide registrants’ details from the public eye and every domain name owner must have a way to recover his or her data even if their registrar's databases are lost.

ICANN requires that registrars regularly supply their RDE with generic domain (gTLD) registration data. However, to comply with stricter GDPR data protection regulations, European-based registrars (including EuroDNS) have for some time wanted more escrow service options. Specifically, they've wanted more available options within Europe so as to avoid working with those outside who may not understand the full scope of data privacy obligations that European businesses are subject to.

RDE services for European domain name registrars

You may remember back in 2015 EuroDNS and other European registrars wrote a letter to ICANN, requesting that the organisation adapt its RDE policies to reflect the needs of European registrars. Specifically, we asked that:

  • European-based RDE agents be designated for European-based registrars.
  • ICANN offer the same terms to RDE agents established in the European Economic Area that it currently offers Iron Mountain, Inc., the US-based RDE designated for European registrars.
  • ICANN take this step to ensure a fair, level playing field for registrars globally.

Until two weeks ago, the only designated escrow provider was the aforementioned Iron Mountain, Inc., whose expertise and professionalism is definitely not in question. Just see for yourself:

However, Iron Mountain, Inc. has only recently became privacy shield compliant. And considering this contractual instrument is being challenged before the EU court of laws right now, they may not provide European domain name players with a long term GDPR-compliance solution.

Domain name data privacy assured with EuroDNS!

ICANN has recently designated DENIC (the .DE domain name registry) to act as data escrow agent for the European domain name industry. DENIC is a neutral, third party data escrow agent in full compliance with the GDPR. This, in turn, allows European domain name registrars to meet their GDPR obligations.

EuroDNS is, therefore, in the process of migrating to this RDE agent. We will be updating our privacy policy and terms of service to reflect this change.

DENIC's got your back and so do we! For updates on how EuroDNS is continuously improving our data privacy and protection measures, watch this space! "We'll be back."


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