Public Whois - Exposing contact information

Short link: opensrs.help/public-whois

Due to GDPR implementation, the registrant contact information is redacted in the public Whois and shows placeholder data to protect owner privacy. While privacy is important to some, in some cases, domain owners may want to publish their real contact information in the Whois record. Public information could be useful to establish domain ownership, to ease the transfer process or even for SSL validation.

Whois Publicity is the solution for domain owners who want to have their information available. Registrant contact information can now show in Whois records for gTLD domains.

How to display registrant contact information in Whois Publicity

Turning on Whois Publicity is a two-step process that can be turned on for already-registered gTLDs from the Reseller Control Panel

First, the reseller enables the option in the control panel. Once enabled, the registrant has to activate the service by providing consent to publish their personal data.

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Enable Whois Publicity service via the Reseller Control Panel

Public Whois service can be enabled for single or multiple domains by using the Bulk Actions feature.

  1. Log in to Reseller Control Panel.
  2. Click on the Domains tab.
  3. Select the required domain names from the list.
  4. From the Bulk Actions drop-down menu, select Expose contact information in public whois.
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  5. Select Enable and click Save.
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Now, these domains will show Pending Registrant consent status in the domain list and the domain info page.

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Activating Whois Publicity

After resellers enable Whois Publicity in the control panel, the domain owner needs to activate the feature to show their information. The registrant will receive an email with a link to their Data Use Consent Settings page, where they can choose to enable Whois Publicity.

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Once the registrant provides consent, the Expose contact information in public whois status will change to Active.

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Note: Users must also consent to the TLD in the GDPR section for the Registrant information to be public.

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Frequently asked questions

What contact data displays with Whois Publicity?

When Whois Publicity is enabled, we will display:

  • All Registrant data that is required under the registry’s contract for your TLD.
  • Any data that you have given us consent to process. You can provide consent through your granted Data Sharing Preferences page for in the TLD-specific consent settings.

The full data set that can be displayed in the public Whois depends on which data elements are required by the contract for your TLD, and whether you consent to the processing of additional data elements. You can check what the TLD-specific data element requirements are.

Full Registrant data set includes:

  • First and last name
  • Organization (if provided)
  • Street, City, State, and Zip or Postal Code
  • Country
  • Phone number
  • Fax number (if provided)
  • Email address

Note: Only the Registrant contact data set will be published—Whois Publicy data does not display information for the domain’s Admin, Billing, or Tech contact.

Can Whois Publicityservice be turned off and on?

Whois Publicity service can be disabled and re-enabled at any time via the control panel. Registrants can activate and deactivate the function as needed simply by changing the consent choice on their Consent Settings page.

Does the registrant have to consent to Publicity separately for each domain name?

No, the registrant only needs to provide their consent for Whois Publicity service once.

If they later choose to have the Publicity service enabled on another domain, it will activate automatically as long as their consent status remains “on.” This ensures that the reseller maintains control over the services they provide, while also ensuring there is affirmative consent from the registrant to publish their data.

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Are there any eligibility requirements for Whois Publicity service?

Whois Publicity service is available to all registrants and optional on any gTLD domain.

The service is not available for ccTLDs. Each ccTLD registry runs independently of ICANN, and most operate their own Whois Lookup and maintain complete control over the output provided.

Which Whois Lookup results will be affected? 

Registrars and registries share their Whois data via “port 43 Whois servers.” OpenSRS will make the registrant data for all publicity-activated domains on a platform accessible through this standard connection. Any Whois lookup service that pulls results from the OpenSRS Whois server, via port 43, will return the registrant details for any of our publicity-activated domains.

Why is my information still redacted?

If the domain shows redacted data in whois results even after enabling and activating the service, please make sure to provide consent to the TLD under the GDPR section.

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What happens if the domain also has Contact Privacy?

If both Contact Privacy and Whois Publicity are active on the same domain, Contact Privacy will always take priority. Queries for the domain in the public Whois will return the Contact Privacy service data instead of the registrant’s real information. Contact privacy must be disabled for Whois Publicity to take effect.

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Whois Publicity status meanings

Status Definition
Disabled Whois Publicity is not active on the domain.

Pending registrant consent Whois Publicity is enabled on the domain, but the registrant has not yet given permission, and the service is not active.

Active Whois Publicity is enabled, and the domain owner has given consent. The service is fully functioning.

Overridden by Whois Privacy Whois Publicity is enabled, but because Contact Privacy is also active on the domain, Whois publicity is ineligible to activate. Disable Whois Privacy to move past this status.

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