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The people have spoken on RDRS and they said “Meh”

Kevin Murphy, May 21, 2024, 20:00:15 (UTC), Domain Services

Users of ICANN’s new Whois data request service appear to be overwhelmingly apathetic about it, if the results of the first quarterly user survey are to be believed.

ICANN sent surveys to 861 users of the Registration Data Request Service and 29 of the registrars that support it. Only 17 requesters and 15 registrars responded, and not every respondent answered every question.

With such a small sample size, it’s debatable whether the results can tell ICANN or anyone else whether RDRS is any good or not.

Asked whether having RDRS was better or worse than not having RDRS, only seven requester respondents answered. Two thought it was “much worse”, one thought it was “somewhat worse”, two thought it was “about the same” and two thought it was “somewhat better”.

Nobody clicked the button for “much better”, a fact that would be quite easy to seize upon as a headline if not for the fact that this is a survey of seven people and therefore pretty much worthless.

Responses to free-text questions perhaps shed a little light on the user experience: some people think it’s too slow, they’re not happy that they didn’t get the data they wanted, and the level of registrar support is too low.

Asked the same question about whether RDRS has made handling Whois requests better or worse, 11 registrars responded. The mix was heavily towards the “worse” end of the scale, which is probably not what ICANN wanted to hear.

In free-text responses, some registrars said they found the interface and workflow lacking, making the process of handling requests take more time and effort than doing the same outside RDRS. Pretty much the diametrical opposite of RDRS’s raison d’etre.

RDRS is a two-year pilot that has data-gathering as one of its primary purposes, but with such a lackluster response to the first survey ICANN is surely hoping the seven remaining surveys may produce some more meaningful stats.

The full survey results are available to read here (pdf), if you can be bothered.

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Comments (1)

  1. Matthias Pfeifer says:

    Anyone here (besides Managers/Lawers in the ICANN circus) wondering?

    Let’s get back to Email and PKI 🙂

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