Now that a lot of things rely on the cloud for sharing and storing information, everyone wants to have a “place” on the internet. This place, often carried by a domain name, is very essential for internet navigation. Domain names are the addresses of the people on the internet space. When it comes to domain name database, the most trusted resource is the WHOIS database. After the General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR was pushed last year, the WHOIS function became restricted.
What Is WHOIS?
WHOIS is a database where necessary information about a domain name is stored. Every time someone registers a domain name, essential information such as the owner, contact details, and the company. Who owns it will be provided and will be stored in the WHOIS database. Unless the owner changed his or her contact information, someone can contact him or her using WHOIS database information.
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A lot of people or businesses would pay for a certain domain name that fits their business. A domain name is an important factor in business visibility so it is not unusual for businesses to buy domains. The contact information of the domain name owners is usually available as a WHOIS database download. If the information is unavailable in the database. The search is usually considered a dead end.
General Data Protection Regulation
The EU General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR is the most important change in data privacy regulation in 20 years. It has been prepared for four years and was approved last 2016 and enforced last year. This data protection law will cover all the individuals within the EU and the European Economic Area. Organizations and individuals that will be breaking this rule will face heavy sanctions and penalties.
WHOIS is one of the organizations that are directly hit by this law because of the nature of their database. Because of these changes, WHOIS can no longer show information such as contact numbers and other private information to its users. Of course, there are always two sides to the coin. GDPR is beneficial for people who want to remain private. However, sites and organizations like WHOIS, as well as the people who need the information to reach out for a deal regarding domain names, will have restricted information.
WHOIS Data That Will No Longer be Available
Internet Committee for Assigned Names and Numbers or ICANN adopted the Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data a few weeks before GDPR was enforced. Because of this, WHOIS and similar organizations are still functional. However, in the light of GDPR, a lot of information that was available to the public in the past, are not restricted.
Among the information that is now prohibited to publicize are DNR contact names, addresses, contact email addresses, fax, and phone numbers for Registrant data. The technical or the admin data such as names, contact email addresses, fax, and phone numbers are also hidden. The only confirmed information that will remain is the registrant organization, his or her state, province, and country. It is still too early to know how things will play out for WHOIS and other affected organizations.