.NZ Introduces WHOIS Privacy For Individual Registrants

NZ Domain Name Commissioner logoFrom today (1 November) individuals registering, or who have registered, a .nz domain name are able to mask the registrant’s contact address from being publicly displayed due to privacy and personal safety concerns the Domain Name Commissioner (DNCL) announced.

The change is provisional as there is currently a major review underway to determine what information should be displayed when a WHOIS search is done on a .nz domain name. Throughout the review, DNCL has become aware that some individual registrants are concerned for privacy and personal safety reasons about having their contact address publicly displayed.

The provisional address masking option has been introduced to help alleviate these concerns while DNCL carries on with its WHOIS review. Those wanting to take advantage of the option will have his or her contact address masked with a unique reference code and DNCL’s P.O. Box address.

Domain Name Commissioner Debbie Monahan says DNCL is currently running a public consultation – asking for the community’s feedback on two policy options for withholding some information in the WHOIS, including contact address information.

“In the meantime,” she says, “the address masking option announced today is intended to allay any personal safety concerns around public display of address information while we finish up our review and implement any permanent policy changes – expected to be later in 2017.”

With the provisional address masking option, any individual registrant can ask that their contact address is masked from display in the .nz WHOIS. This doesn’t change their contact address information recorded on the .nz Register; it just means that information can’t be seen when someone does a WHOIS search on their domain name. Any mail sent to the masked address displayed on the WHOIS will be forwarded to the address on the Register, by DNCL.

Importantly, says Monahan, the masking option is open to any individual registrant who is concerned for whatever reason about having their contact address publicly visible. She encourages all individual registrants to make use of it if they feel the need.

The address masking is a straightforward process, but can only be effected by DNCL. It works by having individual registrants email DNCL from their email address on record. The DNCL office will then run some basic verification checks before applying the masking.

The option is not available to businesses or organisations.