Feeds

Thus challenges Nominet on ‘whois’ privacy issue

Bother

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.