Are WHOIS records private?

Learn why WHOIS records are public and the extent of data collected.

By design WHOIS, records are intended to be public to provide accountability and openness within the domain name system.

WHOIS services provide public access to data on registered domain names. This currently includes contact information for Registered Name Holders. The extent of registration data collected at the time of registration of a domain name, and the ways such data can be accessed, are specified in agreements established by ICANN for domain names registered in generic top-level domains (gTLDs).

For example, ICANN requires accredited registrars to collect and provide free public access to the name of the registered domain name and its nameservers and registrar, the date the domain was created and when its registration expires, and the contact information for the Registered Name Holder, the technical contact, and the administrative contact. 

This information is not always available due to privacy service’s (eg: whois guard) and the GDPR Regulations.