Mar 122015


The question of WHOIS, the database system that houses registrant data for domain names, is a recurring hot topic.

Registrants are generally wary of having data like their phone numbers or email addresses published in a public database just because they want a domain name. Law enforcement agencies want to be able to see data when domain names are part of criminal activities. Lawyers and brand owners want the same thing when faced with potential prior rights infringements. And national data protection agencies want to ensure that individual registrants are not giving up data they shouldn’t have to.

As the UK registry, Nominet is consulting the community on “contact data collection and publication in the .UK WHOIS.”

The consultation is looking at the current .UK WHOIS opt-out policy, with a question on clarifying the eligibility criteria for registrants opting out of having their WHOIS data published.

Second main topic is privacy services where registrars will hide their customers’ data from the public WHOIS, generally for a price. The question being asked there is how, under such schemes, can registry rules still be upheld so that if there is a dispute, that data cannot be kept from the powers that be?

The public consultation runs until June 3, 2015.