WHOIS GDPR – What is going off?

Urgh. Another GDPR post I hear you cry?

Well this one is specifically about WHOIS information changes since GDPR came into force.

(Note: If you’re unsure what GDPR is then go here)

So in a nutshell, GDPR has been brought in to protect an individual’s right to data privacy. No longer can we be auto opted into newsletters and stuff. Sounds decent and for an individual, its a great move.

HOWEVER GDPR only applies to B2C – NOT B2B.

That means that if you sell to the public, then you need to adhere to GDPR. If you sell to other businesses then it doesn’t really change anything.

You can imagine my surprise when I did a whois lookup and saw this;

The Data Validation aspect of these reports is new, and its replaced the section that used to list our company details. Useful info if you are trying to find who owns a domain name.

But, it seems since GDPR NOminet have taken the decision to remove all registrant info from the whois – just in case! This was confirmed by a Nominet employee to me today;

Thank you for your email.     You are correct that you used to be able to hide you details on the WHOIS if the domain name was not being used for commercial purposes, however this option was based on the use of the domain name and not the registrant name itself.     With the introduction of GDPR, the decision was made to redact all the registrant data from the WHOIS. This decision was made to redact all details in the first instance to avoid any individual names being disclosed in error. There can be cases where individual's names are incorrectly classified as companies and vice-versa. With this in mind, the same policy was applied across all .uk domain names, irrespective of the registrant type. This policy was taken to consultation in advance of being implemented.     It is still possible for all registrants to opt-in to the WHOIS database to display their details if they would like to do so, it is just that we are no longer publishing these details without their explicit consent.     This policy may be reviewed periodically going forward.     If you need anything further, please do contact us on +44 (0) 1865 332233, or by email at support@nominet.uk.

Hmmm..

So “just in case” someone registered a domain wrong, you removed this extremely important and useful piece of info from every UK Whois?

So now domain squatters are actually protected?

What do you think of this move from Nominet? Do you feel this gives squatters an advantage?

 

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