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The AFNIC proposes a new framework for access to data concerning .fr domain names ("Whois data")

Home > Observatory and resources > News > The AFNIC proposes a new framework for access to data concerning .fr domain names ("Whois data")


The AFNIC is developing its data access policies to enable better surveillance of infringements of the rights
of third parties, whilst providing a legal framework for use made of its data.

As part of this framework it will soon be proposing:

A relaxing of the conditions for resolving anonymity of holders who are physical persons

Aware that the current system for protecting individuals’ personal data could be perceived as
a hindrance to the rightful owner’s attempt to protect himself/herself from abusive
registrations, the AFNIC is developing its procedure for resolving anonymity.

The AFNIC will continue to protect individuals’ personal data, but it will soon be possible
to ask AFNIC to reveal the identity and details of a person who has registered
a .fr domain name.

Beyond this very specific data access possibility, individuals’ personal data will remain confidential.
Only requests from rightful owners and presented on a specific form will be examined.
The form will be available from the “Tools / Forms” section of AFNIC’s website
Each request will be rigorously analysed by the AFNIC who will only follow it up if a
certain number of conditions are met, particularly in terms of the legitimacy of
the request itself.

This service will be available from early December 2007.

A qualified access to “Whois data”

As of early 2008 and under certain conditions aimed to control the use made of these data,
the AFNIC will enable third parties to obtain a list of .fr registered domain names
associated with the name of registrars who registered these names.

This access will be subject to the signature of a specific contract, and
subject to AFNIC’s approval of the access application.

All .fr domain names that are published via the
Whois service (
will be concerned.

Holders have the possibility of requesting that their domain name(s) be removed from the
communicated list, if they can prove that the communication of the existence of said
domain name(s) could create a risk for the bodily safety of a person or a dangerous risk
to national security.
This request for removal is to be sent as soon as possible to the registrar in charge of the
domain name, who will transfer the request to AFNIC’s Legal Department.

With these new modalities, the AFNIC will create an efficient and pragmatic balance around
.fr between the protection of people’s personal data and the protection against
infringements of third party rights.

About the AFNIC
(Association Française pour le Nommage Internet en Coopération )

Non-profit organization, the AFNIC is in charge of the administrative and technical management of
the .fr (France) and .re (Reunion Island) Internet domain names.
The AFNIC brings together public and private members: representatives from the French
government, Internet users and Internet Service Providers (Registrars).
Further information.

About Afnic

Afnic is the acronym for Association Française pour le Nommage Internet en Coopération, the French Network Information Centre. The registry has been appointed by the French government to manage domain names under the .fr Top Level Domain. Afnic also manages the .re (Reunion Island), .pm (Saint-Pierre and Miquelon), .tf (French Southern and Antarctic Territories), .wf (Wallis and Futuna) and .yt (Mayotte) French Overseas TLDs.

In addition to managing French TLDs, Afnic’s role is part of a wider public interest mission, which is to contribute on a daily basis, thanks to the efforts of its teams and its members, to a secure and stable internet, open to innovation and in which the French internet community plays a leading role. As part of that mission, Afnic, a non-profit organization, donates 90% of its profits to its Foundation for Digital Solidarity. Afnic is also the back-end registry for the companies as well as local and regional authorities that have chosen to have their own TLD, such as .paris, .bzh, .alsace, .corsica, .mma, .ovh, .leclerc and .sncf.

Established in 1997 and based in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Afnic currently has 80 employees.