Date of Birth information handling by CAcert

Date of Birth information is needed for operational purposes and could not be dropped.

CAcert takes strong measures to maintain and guard your private information. Currently CAcert uses for individuals the full formal name, date of birth (DoB) and email/domain address(es). The DoB is used for discrimination of similar names of individuals.

A long debate on the CAcert policy email list ( discussed the issue if date of birth could be dropped from the archive. Alternatives for purpose of name discrimination were explored and debated upon. But it did not result in an accepted and efficient alternative.

CAcert made the decision to comply fully with the European privacy directive (EU DPA). The DoB information is however felt to be archived and needed for operational measurements at Assurance time (Web-of-Trust) and later. Alternatives, which are hopefully better in the name resolution, will continue to be investigated and solutions are challenged for.

It is noticed that the date of birth information is commonly used in the internet environment (and even more private information is made available) and that this data is poorly managed. Even some (European) governments are providing this information openly in some instances. The data of birth (and even email addresses) are only available to CAcert Assurers and only in times of assurance requests and arbitration cases if needed so. There are binding policies for the Assurers for doing so, subjected to arbitration.

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