Firms that registered their interest in purchasing a generic top level domain (gTLD) from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) may have had their private data revealed to other firms due to a software glitch in the submission system.
The organisation first admitted that a glitch had affected the system on Thursday, and confirmed on Friday that it could have made data visible, forcing it to take the system offline.
"We have learned of a possible glitch in the TLD application system software that has allowed a limited number of users to view some other users' file names and user names in certain scenarios," said Icann chief operating officer Akram Atallah.
"We took the system offline to protect applicant data. We are examining how this issue occurred and considering appropriate steps forward."
The organisation apologised for the problems and said it would issue more information as it become available.
The incident will prove highly embarrassing for Icann which has already had to fend off accusations that the new gTLD system is an unnecessary development that could cause legal disputes among firms that apply for the same domains.
Icann has repeatedly dismissed these accusations and claimed the new system will help businesses carve out a clear brand on the web by being able to own domains such as .London or .Google.
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