There were fewer than six requests for private Whois data per day in December, and most of those were denied, according to newly published ICANN data.
The disappointing numbers, which also show that only about 2.5% of accredited registrars are participating, show that ICANN’s new Registration Data Request Service is certainly off to a slow start.
RDRS launched in November. It’s a ticketing system that enables people to request unredacted private Whois data, with no guarantee the requests will be granted, from registrars via an ICANN portal.
As it’s a two-year trial, ICANN promised to publish usage data every month. The first such report was published today (pdf).
The report shows that 1,481 requester accounts have been created so far, but that just 174 requests were made in December — about 5.6 per day on average.
Almost a third of requesters were intellectual property interests, with domain investors at 4.5% and law enforcement at 8%. Security researchers accounted for 15% of requests.
The data shows that most requests — 80.47% — were marked as “Denied” by registrars, largely because the registrar needed more information from the requester before it could process their request. ICANN said RDRS has no visibility into whether data was ultimately handed over outside of the system.
The supply-side data isn’t particularly encouraging either. Only 72 registrars were participating in RDRS at the end of the year.
That’s 2.5% of the 2,814 registrar entities ICANN contracts with, but if we exclude the 2,000+ drop-catching shell registrars owned by the likes of TurnCommerce, Newfold Digital and Gname, participation might be more fairly said to be closer to 10%.
ICANN said that the 72 registrars, which include many of the largest, account for 53% of all registered gTLD domain names, so you might think requesters have a better-than-even chance of being able to use the system for any given domain.
That’s not the case. RDRS data requesters are finding that the domain they are querying belongs to a non-participating registrar far more often than not — 80% of queries through the system were for domains not in the system, the report shows.
And when the registrar is participating, chances are that the data request will be denied — 80% were denied versus just 11.72% approved and 1.56% partially approved.
It takes on average two days for a request to be denied and four days for a request to be approved, the report shows.
While the results to date are arguably disappointing, given the years of effort the ICANN community and staff put in to build this thing, it’s still early days.
I also think it quite likely some of the numbers have been skewed by both the Christmas and New Year holiday period and early-adopter requesters kicking the tires with spurious requests.
The post Weak demand for private Whois data, ICANN data shows first appeared on Domain Incite.