The GDPR language is very broad.

In recital 23 the drafters give some hints about what sorts of non-Union 
controllers may actually be covered. The full wording indicates:

(23) In order to ensure that natural persons are not deprived of the protection 
to which they are entitled under this Regulation, the processing of personal 
data of data subjects who are in the Union by a controller or a processor not 
established in the Union should be subject to this Regulation where the 
processing activities are related to offering goods or services to such data 
subjects irrespective of whether connected to a payment.

In order to determine whether such a controller or processor is offering goods 
or services to data subjects who are in the Union, it should be ascertained 
whether it is apparent that the controller or processor envisages offering 
services to data subjects in one or more Member States in the Union.

Whereas the mere accessibility of the controller's, processor's or an 
intermediary's website in the Union, of an email address or of other contact 
details, or the use of a language generally used in the third country where the 
controller is established, is insufficient to ascertain such intention, factors 
such as the use of a language or a currency generally used in one or more 
Member States with the possibility of ordering goods and services in that other 
language, or the mentioning of customers or users who are in the Union, may 
make it apparent that the controller envisages offering goods or services to 
data subjects in the Union.

In “non-lawyer” this means “it depends”.

Given AfriNIC has a regional focus in Africa, makes address space available in 
Africa and the provision of information by natural persons who are residents, 
citizens or otherwise located in the Union (on more than a transitory basis) is 
likely to be ancillary to AfriNIC's purpose: I think there is a very good 
chance that AfriNIC is not actually covered by the GDPR.

What is really interesting is that the actual consequences (as well as a more 
detailed definition to assist in determining applicability) will come our in 
the national law of Member States and not in the GDPR.

Now AfriNIC can go and spend a lot of money on consultants to assist in this 
determination …. or it can wait for the DPAs to make assessments, issue 
guidelines (individually or collectively) or make laws and then assess its 

GDPR is the Y2K of this period (except there are more lawyers and consultants 
and fewer vendors making money this time around).

I think understanding is useful.

I think a call to action when no action may be required is premature.

> On 11 Apr 2018, at 15:44, Andrew Alston <> 
> wrote:
> Thanks Mike,
> That’s actually pretty useful in some sense – but can I ask for an English 
> interpretation of the last sentence for those of us that sadly don’t speak 
> Lawyer ☺
> Thanks
> Andrew
> From: Mike Silber <>
> Date: Wednesday, 11 April 2018 at 16:34
> To: "Abibu R. Ntahigiye" <>
> Cc: Andrew Alston <>, General Discussions of 
> AFRINIC <>, AfriNIC Discuss 
> <>
> Subject: Re: [Community-Discuss] AFRINIC and the GDPR
> If I can add to this, there is as yet no clear direction from the European 
> DPAs as a collective on how GDPR affects whois access in general.
> The RIPE NCC approach is premised on their interactions with the Dutch DPA, 
> rather than a Europe wide approach.
> In addition, I am not sure I concur with Mr Alston’s insistence that “holding 
> data of EU citizens” automatically places AfriNIC into the category of data 
> controller in terms of GDPR or imposes any requirements on AfriNIC, 
> particularly as the GDPR applies to processing of personal data in the 
> context of the activities of an establishment of a controller or a processor 
> in the Union.
> The extraterritorial application is premised on a nexus requirement set out 
> in general terms in Recital 23, but requiring specific determination in terms 
> of national law by Member States.
> Mike
>> On 11 Apr 2018, at 13:36, Abibu R. Ntahigiye < 
>> <>> wrote:
>> Dear Andrew, Members and the whole Afrinic community,
>> Andrew has raised a very important issue for Afrinic operations - Thanks so 
>> much Andrew.
>> The Board would like to inform you that the issue was discussed within the 
>> Board at the Afrinic 27 meeting in Lagos and the Management was tasked to 
>> work on the issue.
>> The Board has also been made aware that the Mauritius Data Protection Act 
>> 2017 is already in effect and is aligned with the EU GDPR regulations.  The 
>> Board believes that these regulations are not a barrier to publication of 
>> the WHOIS data, and it has noted the RIPE NCC study that made such a 
>> finding.  The Board further believes that the biggest changes required by 
>> AFRINIC are in documenting how personal data is used, and in informing 
>> people at the time data is collected. 
>> The AFRINIC management will provide further updates on the issues at AIS 
>> 2018 in Senegal.
>> Further to the above, the Board expects to receive more insights on GDPR  
>> related issues at the joint Boards (AfriNIC and RIPE NCC) meeting planned in 
>> Senegal.
>> Kind regards
>> On 11/04/2018 08:42, Andrew Alston wrote:
>>> Hi AfriNIC Board,
>>> Can this board please *urgently* inform this community as to what 
>>> preparations they have made as regards to compliance with the General Data 
>>> Protection Regulations passed by the European Commision and the board will 
>>> be in a position to give this community a full and complete report as to 
>>> their GDPR compliance status and what will be changing before the 25th of 
>>> May to ensure that when the GDPR comes into force AfriNIC is compliant.
>>> Considering that the regulation comes into force on the 25th of May 2018 – 
>>> and AfriNIC is 100% holding data of EU Citizens, which makes them subject 
>>> to the regulations irrespective of the fact that they are domiciled in 
>>> Mauritius – this is an urgent and critical issue.  It has direct impact on 
>>> the whois database, abuse contact information, handling of data submitted 
>>> during application process and potentially even the proposed review policy, 
>>> just to name a few things that I can think of off the top of my head – and 
>>> cannot be ignored.  I would in fact have liked to have seen discussions by 
>>> the board in the minutes that have been published about the GDPR long 
>>> before now – considering the impact – but failing that – the question is 
>>> now being asked.
>>> Andrew
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Community-Discuss mailing list
>>> <>
>>> <>
>> -- 
>> Abibu R. Ntahigiye
>> CEO, tzNIC / Interim Chairman, Afrinic.
>> _______________________________________________
>> Community-Discuss mailing list
>> <>
>> <>

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