Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised at this point. But this morning, when we woke up and checked our email to find there had been yet another technical glitch with ICANN, we couldn’t help but groan.
Let’s go back to the New gTLD Applicant Guidebook. In early versions, ICANN requires that the primary and secondary contact for each application provide their home addresses. In the version published in January, just before the TLD Application System (TAS) opened, there was an update that assured applicants that these street addresses would not be made public.
Except that they were made public, by mistake of course. For just under 48 hours after ICANN posted the list of the public portions of new gTLD applications, anyone who cared to click through into an application preview could see the answers to Questions 1 through 30a, including the answers to Questions 6 and 7. For some applications, these questions only displayed the city and country of residence for the primary and secondary contacts. For others, they displayed the full postal address.
In response to discovering this unintended disclosure, ICANN disabled the viewing of applications started at about 6:00 PM EDT and emailed applicants to let them know. As of this morning, it appears that all the private information is no longer on display.
On a related note, many applicants, whose emails are listed as part of the applications, are already receiving ridiculous amounts of spam from gTLD “service” providers of varying legitimacy.