Domain ID Protection (or Domain WHOIS protection) is a system which is permitted by ICANN to hide your personal details from visibility in the WHOIS database by replacing with that the WHOIS domain privacy provider. Excluding UK ccTLDs (country-code top-level domains – e.g. .co.uk), all the standard gTLDs (general top-level domains) require you to have WHOIS information included; and bearing in mind it is otherwise in breach of ICANN rules if you otherwise display false information.
While ICANN should really give end users the decision as to whether they want their personal information publicly visible as it is indeed a privacy issue, end users can buy Domain ID Protection which essentially replaces your information with that of a Domain ID Protection provider. The Domain ID Provider will only pass on your details in the event that it is required to do so, perhaps in the event of a court order or if there is evidence given to the privacy provider of our infringement of someone else’s rights under copyright law.
What’s the advantages of buying Domain ID Protection?
The advantages is your privacy. Many people do not like having their address and contact information publicly visible for security or privacy concerns and they are well warranted concerns. Even though companies are not supposed to, many companies worldwide use the WHOIS database to contact people for marketing purposes; and the WHOIS database can be used to easily distribute spam.
What are the disadvantages to buying Domain ID Protection?
The legal ownership of the domain name is handed over to the Domain ID Protection agent, however with many Domain ID Protection providers, their Terms of Service ensures that you will keep the domain name even though they have legal ownership over the domain name and are leasing the domain name to you; which, technically, is what it is considered by ICANN.
Some providers may not go to enough steps to protecting your privacy. Some Domain ID Protection providers may give out your personal information simply by receiving a request for the information by any organisation without checking the legitimacy of the letter first. However, some other Domain ID Protection providers will check the authenticity of the letter and some may refuse disclosure unless they have to do so under a court order.
Domain ID Protection will likely cost just a little less than what your domain actually costs. Why people have to pay for privacy when ICANN should really rather permit users to hide their personal information and use other mechanisms when organisations need to contact domain owners in the event of evidence of copyright infringement.
A few points to note…
For .uk ccTLDs, you can decide whether or not you wish to have your personal information publicly visible as long as you are an individual. If you are a business, you have no choice and you must have publicly-accessible WHOIS information under Nominet rules.
eUKhost provides Domain ID Protection which you can add onto your domain name at the time of buying a domain or separately for any domain names that are already registered and owned by you. You can purchase a domain name with any of our cPanel Web Hosting and Windows Web Hosting packages or separately if you wish.