Feeds

Thus challenges Nominet on ‘whois’ privacy issue

Bother

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Thus - the alternative telco group that owns the Demon ISP - is looking to challenge plans to introduce changes to Nominet's 'whois' Web site ownership directory.

It claims that Nominet's decision to publish the contact addresses of all registrants regarded as "trading" or "businesses" might not be legal.

It has already held informal talks with the Information Commissioner and is considering whether to make a formal complaint.

Thus' concerns seem to centre on what exactly is allowed under the Distance Selling and Electronic Commerce Regulations.

The alternative telco believes that these regulations do state that businesses must publish their contact details under certain circumstances and in certain manners.

However, it believes it is not clear that they should allow Nominet to publish this information without seeking prior agreement.

It maintains that in many cases the contact details published on Web sites relate to technical and support services, and may be wholly inappropriate to be listed in a directory as the main contact address for a business.

Thus' view is that the Nominet database is a directory. And as defined by the Telecommunications (Data Protection and Privacy) Regulations it gives individuals and businesses certain rights such as the option to be ex-directory.

Ian Hood, Thus director of communications and regulation said: "While we can understand that Nominet would like some degree of conformity with 'whois' services internationally, we do feel we have a duty to question the proposals on behalf of our customers.

"The right to privacy is an important one - individuals have entirely legitimate reasons for wishing to remain anonymous. For instance we don't object to people's phone numbers being ex-directory. It is important that any changes to the way information is handled are carried out entirely in accordance with the existing legislation," he said.

Nominet, though, remains confident it has taken all the necessary steps to ensure that the changes to the 'whois' database comply with UK legislation.

It has held a lengthy consultation on the matter, received "copious amounts of legal advice" and engaged in a number of meetings with the Information Commissioner over the last six months.

"The only concern the Information Commissioner had was about the privacy of non-trading individuals, which is why we introduced an opt-out clause for them," Nominet MD Leslie Crowley told The Register.

In April, Nominet UK announced plans to make more information available about individuals and organisations that have registered domain names.

At the moment anyone who makes a WHOIS enquiry for .uk domains receives the registrant's name, the date it was registered and when the entry was last updated.

But the registry for .uk Internet domain names also wants to provide the address of the domain registrant.

Nominet UK clams it has taken the decision because it has come under increasing pressure to make contact details publicly available in line with other top level Domain registries around the world.

In August it agreed that private individuals should be able to opt out of the scheme. ®

Related Stories

Nominet UK in climb-down over WHOIS data
Nominet challenged on personal data changes
Nominet UK to change WHOIS details

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
BBC: We're going to slip CODING into kids' TV
Pureed-carrot-in-ice cream C++ surprise
Twitter: La la la, we have not heard of any NUDE JLaw, Upton SELFIES
If there are any on our site it is not our fault as we are not a PUBLISHER
Facebook, Google and Instagram 'worse than drugs' says Miley Cyrus
Italian boffins agree with popette's theory that haters are the real wrecking balls
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
Ex-IBM CEO John Akers dies at 79
An era disrupted by the advent of the PC
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.