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Current Whois Data vs Historic Whois Data Published via 3rd Parties

We often get contacted by clients who have questions and queries about whois data or domain name registration data. People get understandably upset when the information they’ve provided in good faith to simply register a domain name, is abused by unscrupulous marketers to try and sell them products and services they’ve never expressed any interest in.

Fortunately since May 25th of this year the volume of this abuse has been dropping, though it’s still an issue.

So here’s a little background.

When you register a domain name, be that for yourself as a private individual, or on behalf of a company or other organisation, the domain name registrar and the domain registry collect and process data about you. That information is used to allocate the domain name to you in both the registry and registrar’s systems.

Prior to May 25th 2018 quite a lot of the information that was provided during the registration of a domain name was made public to anyone who knew where and how to look for the information in a directory known as “WHOIS”.

Country code domain name registries such as .ie and .co.uk collected similar data as the more international registries like the ones for .com and .biz, but the key difference was that the amount of data published was always fairly minimal. You might have been able to see that the domain was registered to “Patrick Murphy”, but you couldn’t see their full contact details including their email address, phone number of physical address. The registry and the registrar would have had that information were it needed, but it wasn’t shared with the world.

Since May 25th, as I mentioned previously, most of the domain name registries have changed their modus operandi to minimise the amount of data that is published to the world and shared with anyone who knows how to access it. They haven’t, for the most part, changed the data they’re collecting and processing, though in several cases they’ve stopped requiring information that didn’t really serve any purpose.

If you’d never registered a gTLD domain name, such as a .com or .biz, before May 25th 2018 then you probably don’t care, but if you had registered before that date then you might.

Why?

There are a lot of 3rd party systems and services out there that have been hoovering up data for years. While newly registered domain names have limited public data, anything registered in the past could be recorded somewhere.

You can easily see what we are displaying for gTLDs (com, net, org, info, biz and other non country code names) by going to our public whois server here.

If you have any queries please let us know.

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