Answer ID: 9059

With the new GDPR policy being more protective of WHOIS information, do we still need WHOIS privacy?


Regardless of any changes to the Whois system, Whois privacy will remain a valuable service to registrants worldwide. Even when the public Whois “goes dark”, it is certain that there will still be a gated Whois, where registrant data will be made available to parties with a legitimate interest. So, while the audience for registrant data may no longer be the entire public, it will still be sizable. This is where Whois privacy comes in—if privacy is active on a domain, the personal data in the registration record will remain protected from those with access to the gated Whois. The service also provides a way for third parties to contact the domain owner via the privacy service email address displayed in the Whois output, an option that will not be provided as a part of GDPR data protection. In addition, the personal data associated with a domain that is protected by Whois privacy will not be shared with registries.

Here’s a visual guide that illustrates these differences in Whois output. Our recent blog post also provides a more in-depth answer to this question.

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