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Personal details kept private

Details of .uk domain owners won't be made public

Nominet, the authority that registers .uk domain names, yesterday announced it would delay changes to its Whois database after an outcry from users over privacy.

The company was planning to introduce a comprehensive database of all owners of .uk domain names, which would provide anyone searching for the owner of a .uk domain with concise contact details.

But the announcement met a flood of criticism from both privacy groups and parents, who were worried about privacy and security.

"While the principle of improving the scope of the 'Whois' search facility remains, we have changed our plans to take account of the concerns expressed," said Lesley Cowley, managing director of Nominet UK.

Nominet has now amended its plans so that only the contact details of business-owned .uk domains will be listed.

Those possessing privately owned domains will be able to opt-out of the database so that their details are not on public display. Instead their ISP will act as their point of contact.

Currently a search of the Whois database for .uk owners will only reveal basic details, with contact information generally limited to an email address.

But .com domain names are much easier to search, and provide several points of contact for the owner.

From December this year, all private owners of .uk domain names and new registrants will be asked to tick a box which will make their ISP their point of contact.

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