Switzerland-based Quad9 offers maximum privacy protection to Caribbean Internet users, BY GERARD BEST

Do anything online and you leave behind digital footprints and data. Worse, some of your data is personally identifiable, meaning that your virtual footprint can be linked to your real-world identity. All of which has serious implications for your privacy. But a recent, radical step by one Internet organization could bring new privacy protections to Internet users in the Caribbean and around the globe.

Quad9, a not-for-profit domain name system (DNS) security service provider operating in more than 90 countries, announced on February 17 that it has moved its headquarters from California, USA to Zürich, Switzerland. For Internet users in the Caribbean and worldwide, the announcement has positive legal implications.

The Swiss legal privacy regime is harmonized with the European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Quad9’s move from California to Zurich places it under the supervision of the Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner and subject to Swiss jurisdiction. This makes Quad9 the first public DNS security solution to extend EU-standard GDPR privacy protections and freedoms to internet users in the Caribbean and other regions. By using Quad9, anyone in the world can receive the same, fully legally enforced rights as a Swiss citizen.

"<em>Other large DNS providers are domiciled in the United States. That jurisdiction shields them from privacy claims and responsibility to users. Quad9 has set itself apart from other DNS providers by voluntarily placing itself within a jurisdiction which strictly enforces privacy laws to the highest global standards. It grants individuals enforceable rights and effective remedies, giving Quad9 users around the world the full protection of Swiss law</em>," said <strong>Bill Woodcock</strong>, Chairman of the Quad9 Foundation Council.

Other large DNS providers are domiciled in the United States. That jurisdiction shields them from privacy claims and responsibility to users. Quad9 has set itself apart from other DNS providers by voluntarily placing itself within a jurisdiction which strictly enforces privacy laws to the highest global standards. It grants individuals enforceable rights and effective remedies, giving Quad9 users around the world the full protection of Swiss law,” said Bill Woodcock, Chairman of the Quad9 Foundation Council.

Quad9’s move to Switzerland is being facilitated by SWITCH, an independent foundation which is the registry for the .ch and .li country code top-level domain names, and one of Switzerland’s centers of competence for internet security.

In less than five years, Quad9 has built a global alternative to the commercial DNS platforms that are focused on reaping profit from user data,” said Tom Kleiber, managing director of SWITCH. “We look forward to expanding Quad9’s reach and impact to show internet users across the globe that security can be improved without exploiting their privacy.”

Since its launch in 2017, Quad9 has provided DNS security solution services at no cost, with no contract, and without collecting or reselling personal data. The latest development promises Internet users even clearer competition and choice.

“This step by Quad9 is a good example of what may need to be done to increase confidence in the Internet globally. It also demonstrates the importance of all stakeholders playing their respective roles–technical community providing a robust technical solution, private sector enabling and supporting the model, and robust government regulation providing a trust-guarantee,” said Tomas Lamanauskas, Head of Corporate Strategy Division, International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

 This story was originally published on Gerard Best’s blog, SightLine.
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