ICANN and the Data Quality Act: Part I

By Bruce Levinson

The first part of a multi-part series report by ICANNfocus. This part discusses the history of the data quality act.

The Center for Regulatory Effectiveness (CRE) has determined that ICANN is subject to the Data Quality Act. Specifically, because ICANN carries out the technical management of the internet, including the IANA function and the implementation of new top level domains, under agreement with the U.S. Department of Commerce, ICANN's information disseminations are "sponsored" by the Department and thus subject to the Act.

ICANNfocus is publishing a multi-part series of articles to explain the Data Quality Act and why it is important to ICANN and to diverse internet stakeholders in the United States and overseas. The complete version of this article on the ICANNfocus website provides more detail as well as links to extensive information about the Act and its implementation.

The Data Quality Act was signed into law by President Clinton in December 2000. The purpose of the Act is to ensure that: 1) information disseminated and sponsored by federal agencies meets standards for quality, objectivity, utility and integrity; and 2) the public has meaningful recourse for seeking and obtaining correction of information not meeting quality standards.

The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has overall responsibility for overseeing the federal government's implementation of the Act. Federal agencies have issued their own agency-specific Data Quality guidelines.

Although a relative recent law, the Data Quality Act has been the subject of scholarly legal analyses, meetings and workshops by the National Academy of Sciences, panel discussions by the American Bar Association, and numerous articles in the trade and popular press. The provision of the Act allowing the affected public to seek and obtain correction of information not meeting federal data quality standards has been invoked by diverse stakeholders ranging from U.S. Senators, law firms and the CRE. The Data Quality Act can also be applied to international organizations.

Additional articles in this series will: discuss why the Data Quality Act is important to ICANN and to diverse domestic and international internet stakeholders; explain the Data Quality Act's information correction process; and provide specific examples of ICANN-disseminated information subject to the Data Quality Act.

For more information, please see, ICANNfocus.

By Bruce Levinson, SVP, Regulatory Intervention - Center for Regulatory Effectiveness

Related topics: DNS, ICANN, Regional Registries