The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) took effect on 25 May 2018.

But how does the GDPR affect WHOIS data?

WHOIS data is now mostly confidential. If you need to access non-public data, you will now need to make a direct request to the registrar of the website – outlining why you require the information.

This could be that the website is unlawfully using your trademark, or violating your copyright. Or perhaps the website is providing goods and services that could harm the public.

Fundamentally, the key is that the need for the data must outweigh the individual’s rights under the GDPR.

This will likely result in back and forth conversation with the registrar, where you may need to confirm that you will store the data securely, should it be released to you.

More in-depth information regarding the changes to WHOIS data can be found on ICANN.

The following article on is also an interesting insight into the GDPR and WHOIS in relation to online enforcement.

Do you need assistance with websites that violate your trademark or copyright rights? Get in touch with us.

Sources: The ACG,

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