One of the more frustrating developments over the past couple of years is GDPR. Registrars like GoDaddy, Uniregistry, and Network Solutions allowed US-based customers to opt out of the GDPR blocking for Whois records, but Enom and Tucows did not. For instance, this is how the Whois record for Philharmonic.com, a domain name I have registered at Enom, has looked since the implementation of GDPR:
As you can see, all of the contact information shows up as “REDACTED FOR PRIVACY.” This makes it more difficult for people to contact a domain name registrant, especially if the domain name is not resolving to any website or landing page. If a domain name did not have an active landing page or website, the only way I can think of to contact the registrant to buy the domain name is to use the DomainTools Historical Whois tool.
As reported last night by George Kirikos, it looks like Tucows and Enom are now allowing customers to opt out of this GDPR blocking:
— George Kirikos (@GeorgeKirikos) July 30, 2019
In a support thread yesterday, Tucows shared how registrants can expose their Whois information if so desired. Enom also outlined the change in a blog post 12 days ago that I first read last night. The blog post outlines how customers are now able to make their Whois information public.
Here are the steps I took to publish my Whois information on domain names registered at Enom:
At the bottom of the My Domains page, there is a drop down menu that says “LIST ACTIONS.” I can then select a group of domain names and choose “Add Whois Publicity” from the dropdown menu. It then took me to a Bulk Add Services page where I selected “Whois Publicity for $0.00/yr per domain” At this stage, I was told:
“For Whois Publicity to take effect on a domain, ID Protect must be disabled.
A consent request email will be sent to the domain owner if they have not already consented to Whois Publicity.”
Once this was completed, I clicked on the Go to my cart button, where I was taken to my shopping cart with the names and Whois publicity option at $0/year showing. I then checked out and submitted my order as if I was buying a product or service, with the total being $0.00. Shortly thereafter, I received an Order Status email showing the transaction.
Several hours later, I received a data use consent preference email with a link to approve the changes. Shortly after agreeing to the changes, my Whois info began showing up, as you can see here:
The registrant information is now public. The admin and technical contacts remain private, likely because those are potentially third parties who did not consent to public Whois information.
This is a welcome development I am glad Tucows and Enom made.