I received an email this week from domain registrar GoDaddy with subject “Important: Upgraded protection coming to your domains”.
I have some domain names registered with them, including a few .com’s – which were listed in the email as scheduled to be upgraded from “Private Registration” to “Full Domain Privacy & Protection”.
As an earlier post of mine described, personal contact information for a domain name can be gleaned from the WHOIS database.
WHOIS privacy had been a paid service at GoDaddy up to this point for certain domain extensions (not applicable to .ca domains).
Any domains protected with GoDaddy’s privacy service displayed the contact details of their subsidiary “Domains by Proxy”.
A quick search found a domain name blog with a report that GoDaddy has just begun redacting much of the WHOIS information for eligible top level domains.
WHOIS entries for domains registered at GoDaddy now only reveal Organisation name, state/province and country. They have termed this “Basic Privacy Protection”, a service included for free by default.
This free option may be sufficient for most registrants – if you are an individual, the Organisation field will be empty.
Customers who have already paid for privacy under their Domains By Proxy service will be automatically rolled into the “Full Domain Privacy & Protection” plan which will redact the remaining visible details.
More information about their different protection plans can be found here.
If you are also a GoDaddy customer and received a similar notification, I wanted to highlight in case you missed it – that at the bottom of the email from them is a link to opt-out of the upgrade by July 16 in order to get a refund on the remaining term of the privacy already paid for.
GoDaddy is the world’s largest domain name registration company and were one of the few remaining registrars I know of that still charged for WHOIS privacy.