It would seem that almost anyone can fall victim to identity theft
Case No. D2019-1677 (Jones Lang Case)
September 9, 2019
Case No. D2019-1601 (Accenture Case)
September 5, 2019
Identity theft occurs more often than one may hope. Sometimes, those engaged in cybersquatting and other fraudulent activity use the names and contact details of third parties, either unfortunate random victims, or those with a connection to the Complainant, to register domain names. In such exceptional circumstances, like the following case, the panel has the authority to redact the name of the Respondent to protect the Complainant’s identity.
In two recent cases, the Respondents had two disputed domain names that took advantage of the Complainant’s trademarks to phish personal data from Internet users, and actually used the Complainant’s, or an officer of the Complainant’s, name and details to register them. While these cases are obvious instances of cybersquatting, and the Complaints succeeded without difficulty, it is worth touching on whether it was appropriate for the panel to redact the Respondent’s name.
In making its decision panels cited prior cases in which the Respondent’s name had been redacted, so, although UDRP arbitration decisions are not precedents, it is interesting when one finds a prior panel has made a decision similar to the decision now being contemplated ; ASOS plc. v. Name Redacted, WIPO Case No. D2017-1520 (ASOS) and Banco Bradesco S.A. v. FAST-12785241 Attn. Bradescourgente.net / Name Redacted, WIPO Case No. D2009-1788. (Bradesco). However, in both of these cases, the Respondent had used the contact details of a third party, seemingly unrelated to both Complainant and Respondent. A redaction in this case makes sense, such as to prevent the publication of an adverse legal finding in the name of a party that had nothing to do with the issue at hand. In the Accenture case, the Complainant requested the redaction to prevent the publication of an unfair suggestion that a decision had been made against their Officer. However, in the Jones Lang case, whereby the Respondent’s name and details were that of the Complainant, the redaction has done little to hide or protect the victim’s identity. That said, a case in which the same party is listed as both Respondent and Complainant would be somewhat irregular and/or pointless.
Regardless, it is good to see the UDRP functioning effectively in instances of unlawful and abusive domain name registrations.