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As far as I understand it, it is possible to opt-out (in the UK at least) of having your address details displayed on who-is information of a domain for non-trading individuals.

What I want to know is, after opt-out, how do individuals combat archived data? Is there any enforcement of this? How many who-is websites are there which archive data and what rights do we have to force them to remove that data without paying absurd fees?

In the case of capitulating to these scoundrels, what point is it in paying for the removal of archived data if that data can presumably resurface on another who-is repository? In other words, what strategy is one supposed to take, besides being wiser after the fact?

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    You seem to be talking about the right to be forgotten which exists only in some countries in Europe and only applies to sites within that jurisdiction. For that I do not know. As for the rest of the world, this is not a right and any request would be up to the discretion of the site owner. If you have a compelling case, and there are some, then I could see someone removing PID (personally identifying data) if the data source has different data. – closetnoc Jun 3 '14 at 1:38
  • Why not just offer an answer? I thank you for your feedback. – Jonathan Jun 3 '14 at 14:15
  • I did not think this raised to the level you might have needed- protection in areas where the right exists- but I thought I would at least comment. – closetnoc Jun 3 '14 at 15:17
  • Well in any case, your input is very much appreciated and you've enlightened a few things on the topic. If I didn't get any better answers I would default to yours, just saying. – Jonathan Jun 3 '14 at 15:21
  • I appreciate it. – closetnoc Jun 3 '14 at 15:23
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You seem to be talking about the right to be forgotten which exists only in some countries in Europe and only applies to sites within that jurisdiction. For that I do not know. As for the rest of the world, this is not a right and any request would be up to the discretion of the site owner. If you have a compelling case, and there are some, then I could see someone removing PID (personally identifying data) if the data source has different data.

Most of the time there is really no caching of whois PID data with very little exception. The reason for this is because of the massive amount of space whois (in particular) data uses even when compressed. I only know of one site that actually maintains historical whois: domaintools.com, though I am not sure that is available- it may be with a paid account. Most of the time, if the whois data is not changed and a site re-fetches the data, the PID will show up again and there is no mechanism to prevent that from happening. As a side note, most sites fetch data in real-time these days though not all. All it would take to refresh the whois data is to visit the page. Some re-fetch periodically. Some, very few, never refresh. With millions of pages, capturing whois data becomes more and more difficult and costly. It can take quite a bit of time to refresh the data even with the best of efforts. As well, some whois servers have restrictions as to the number of requests and so extra effort not to pound any whois server to death is often taken. It is actually, kind of a trick business.

Again, most webmasters and site owners will be glad to remove PID from this form of data if they can. It can be a simple process even if done manually. And most webmasters and site owners can understand wanting to divorce themselves from prior associations. They get it. If you want PID removed from a whois website, often just a visit to the page or an e-mail will do.

  • I've also seen who.is that archives the data as well. Could you give any example or what page I need to go to, to see the domaintools archive search? – Jonathan Jun 3 '14 at 16:50
  • The problem I'm finding is that who.is is one of these sites that has an archive and is charging for that data to be removed and I think that is a) wrong b) something I don't want to pay for if I can avoid it. – Jonathan Jun 3 '14 at 16:57
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    Domaintools.com is about research for corporations and defense and law enforcement entities and I cannot imagine that they want to remove any data. They allow a certain number of queries per day for free. Otherwise a fee/username is required. Who.is on the other hand seems to be trying to make money from search. I understand that. I also understand that monetizing removals can leave a bad taste in your mouth. I guess it would be a question of how important it is to remove a name from a website. Reputation.com might be a better place to pay a fee. Who knows. I guess it depends on the situation. – closetnoc Jun 3 '14 at 17:28
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    I agree. I still see my older addresses listed on the net. That is no-ones business. Marketing people love free data so I am sure that other people are getting mail with my name on it. I began using P.O. boxes almost 20 years ago for just this reason. Now I have private registrations for my sites. It costs more than a P.O. box, but it is easier. Yes- life has changed so that we have to be far more careful. If you still have a website registered, then change the address to a P.O. box or use private registrations from now on. Otherwise, for archive data, I am not sure what to do. – closetnoc Jun 3 '14 at 17:57
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    This issue is one of the reasons why I built and launched gwhois.org . Not only is it the most intelligent whois client out there right now, but it is the only one that places security and privacy at top-priority. You can learn more here: blog.gwhois.org/updates/security-and-protecting-your-privacy – iglvzx Jun 9 '14 at 15:57

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