Personal details of domain applicants leaked in ICANN glitch

The Internet's governing body this week admitted that it inadvertently revealed the mailing addresses and contact details of those who applied for the new generic top-level domains (gTLDs).

Those details were viewable by anyone visiting the public section of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers' gTLD site. As a result, ICANN temporarily disabled that section of the website to remove identifying details. Access was restored last night.

"We apologise for this oversight," ICANN said in a statement. "The information in these fields was not intended for publication."

The information was provided on applications for the new domains, for which major tech firms like Apple, Samsung, Google, and Amazon all applied.

At this point, there are 22 gTLDs, including .com, .org, and .net. In June 2011, however, ICANN approved a plan that would allow people to apply for new gTLDs. ICANN started accepting gTLD applications via its TLD Application System (TAS) on 12 Jan, and revealed the list of almost 2,000 applied-for domains last week.

This is not the first privacy issue ICANN has encoutered during the gLTD process, however. ICANN had to temporarily shut down its application system in April after a glitch with the handling of attachments allowed some applicants to view details on the forms of fellow applicants.

As a result, the close of the application process was pushed from 12 April to 30 May.

At a cost of $185,000 (£118,000) per application, ICANN collected approximately $350 million (£223 million) during the gTLD process; about $60,000 (£38,000) will be set aside for each applicant for a "risk contingency fund."