The latest registry to announce how they plan to deal with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation is DNS Belgium who have announced that for individuals, all registrant data will be hidden from 25 May, but for business, nothing will change unless a contact is an individual when the relevant data will also be hidden.
The changes will reflect any searches done for WHOIS data for domain names under Belgium’s country code top level domain (ccTLD) and follows a survey in recent months on the use of the WHOIS tool on the DNS Belgium website.
As part of the survey, DNS Belgium asked how often WHOIS is used to search for the data of private registrants and for what reason. Of those who used the WHOIS search for .be domain names, the main reason was for business searches.
During the month or so when the survey ran, there were 44,845 WHOIS searches. Nearly three quarters of them were searches for the data of companies and organisations. A little more than 25% of the searches concerned data of private persons.
The survey showed that the four most important reasons why people consult WHOIS does not differ for organisations and private persons:
- Check whether the person is really the registrant of the searched domain name
- Contact the registrant with a request to take over his domain name
- Check the e-mail address to which the transfer code is sent.
The survey also found a large number of ‘private searches’ are conducted by registrants who want to look up their own data to determine whether they are still the owner of the domain name or to check the e-mail address for the transfer code. In such cases, DNS Belgium will continue to send the WHOIS certificate to the registrant’s email address after 25 May.
When someone looks up someone else’s data to contact the registrant, DNS Belgium will pass on the request to the registrant in question by means of a WHOIS form. The registrant’s data will therefore not be shown and no direct contact will be established with him. That can take place only via DNS Belgium. Then it is up to the registrant if they wish to respond.