Nominet, the .uk registry, announced today a number of policy changes that impact how they handle whois data.
The new policy comes after the registry conducted consultation with stakeholders.
So what is changing?
Essentially there are two key elements:
- Criteria and handling of “opt out” requests
- Introduction of whois privacy / proxy services
Under the current policies private non-trading individuals can choose to “opt out” of the public whois. However the current policies have been criticised as the “non-trading” criteria were so strictly enforced that bloggers who might have earned a small amount of income from 3rd party ads were being treated as “traders”:
Individuals who are not using their domain name for trading purposes will be able to opt out of publishing their contact address on the WHOIS. We plan to amend the criteria to further clarify that domain names which opt out cannot:
transact with customers (merchant websites); or
primarily advertise or promote goods, services, or facilities.
The new policy, which will come into force in September 2015, is intended, in part, to address this:
This change will make it clearer that bloggers who make small amounts through pay per click advertising or affiliate links can opt out if they wish.
The other change is more substantial as it will echo the formal recognition and introduction of whois privacy / proxy services in the .uk namespace. While some registrars are apparently already offering this service “unofficially” the new framework sets out clear criteria as to how privacy services can operate.
Registrars opting to use the functionality will need to:
act as an address for service for the registrant;
respond to or pass on abuse complaints from third parties to the registrant; and
Provide contact details of their privacy service, which will be validated by Nominet and published in the WHOIS.
More details on how this will work is planned to be released in the coming months, with the new policy being effective at some point in Q4 2015.
Further details on the Nominet site.