GoDaddy service : Good idea to sign up for GoDaddy?? Personal Information Exploited Without Permission by Me

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I don't usually do this kind of thing, but am wondering what rights I have to privacy on the Internet nowadays.

I found a site at after going through some backlinks. There I found an entry for a domain that I owned about 13 months ago, but it had a complete documentation of the domain name, and, get this: my old WHOIS info! My address, name, email, and phone number all displayed there, which wasn't even correct since I sold it over a year ago!.

But here's the catcher... the entry seems newer than from when I sold it because it had a logo on it that the buyer used; not me... and it was an entry posted by a bot.


1) Is this even legal?.

2) Surely this isn't ethical?.

3) What can we do to shut this site down? Anything??.

It just kind of bothers me that they freely - by bot - gather this information and publish it - even outdated info!.

Is this bad? Or is this one of those "quitcher whining moments"?.


(PS. I would link to the entry I found, but I only deleted the current page, and because it's a Wiki, it has an archive... and I don't want that viewed.)..

Comments (19)

Whois is public information unless you subscribe to a privacy service, and that is an issue with the registrar if they release it...

Comment #1

The registrars are committing an offence then, I'm almost certain it is against the regulations to profit from WHOIS information...

Comment #2

Who says that the registrar is profiting from it. All that site needed to do is check the whois info either manually or getting a script to do it for them, your registrar has nothing to do with it except from showing the whois info when requested and as you did not use whois privacy they are quite right to show that information...

Comment #3

The site owner is profiting from this WHOIS information by getting visitors interested in my personal data to solicit me...

Comment #4

How does the site owner profit? He isn't making any money by having visitors visit the site and unless he is selling this information I still don't see what's wrong.

Whois is public. If I wanted to solicity you I could simply do a search of whois and it would take me the same amount of time it would to search

Make your whois private and the problem is solved.


Comment #5

The point is the question of principle: is having my personal contact information publicized and redistributed without my permission and having been gathered by bots in the first place...

A) Legal?.

B) Ethical?..

Comment #6

I see your point Chulium,.

Retrieving WHOIS information from a database is one thing but posting your information publicly is another...

Comment #7

The answers to A & B depends on what side of the fence you're on. It's all a.

Matter of perspective.

One question you might be asked is: do you really even have privacy to begin.

With? If you believe so, then you might want to read your fine prints to see if.

It says any of the sort.

Let's see, if I jump over your fence and peek through your window, then I am.

Definitely invading your privacy. But if you use my service, what expectation.

Of privacy (and online at that) do you get?.

By my service, I mean my registrar. Unless any applicable law says otherwise,.

I can do whatever I want with the data given to me, can't I?.

Besides, have you tried the option below? But if they decide to ignore you, then seek legal advice if you insist that they.

Remove the information. You're not going to be able to compel them to do as.

You desire, just as they can't do anything towards you.

There's a limit to everything, including our expectations of privacy...

Comment #8

But whois is public so they have not given any more information that a general user could not have got through normal methods...

Comment #9

When you register a domain you are agreeing to have your information freely and publicly available through Whois. This is how ICANN has established it. Since you agree to it, it is not illegal.

Secondly, it is not illegal to distribute or post information which is publicly available somewhere else. If it's publicly available, it's fair game.

Thirdly, I don't see any ethical problems with posting information that is already out there. Anyone can just do a Whois lookup and find it. Sites like are an archival service, much like search engines,, your local library, etc... Ethics only come into play with what people decide to ultimately do with that information.

And lastly you have the option to purchase Whois protection. I think this is what dhscott was referring to by registrars profiting... Yes, they do profit, but they are providing you a service that you otherwise would not have, since ICANN requires public whois information. Whois Privacy services merely store that public information with the registrar, while putting their information in as the domain owner. They become an agent for your domain essentially.

The only problem with using Whois Protection is that you run a risk of not being able to prove that you actually own the domain. This is probably a rare situation, but if you look at all the stuff going on with Registerfly, this scenario has suddenly become very real for A LOT of people...

Comment #10

If you go to and do a whois, you will see the Aboutus link where anyone can create a page on a domain name.

It is a wiki, so if you don't like what's there, edit or delete it...

Comment #11

...can't delete it because of the un-editable archives... it's still there once it's on, which is rather intrusive...

Comment #12

1) Is this even legal? Yes.

2) Surely this isn't ethical? I see nothing unethical about sharing public information..

3) What can we do to shut this site down? Anything?? Nothing.

Btw...did you bother to look to see if they have a removal option?

Comment #13

Yes, and I wish you'd look at the bigger picture here before replying ignorantly.

Did you consider that "public information" is NOT my name with mailing address, phone number, email address?? Unlike some people, I have a decent sense of privacy anymore...

Comment #14


I can appreciate that you disagree with many of the posters, but he answered your initial questions, and his opinions are valid. There is no need to be rude. Although your Name,Address,and Telephone are considered "personal" information, you have conscented to allowing that information to be public when you registered a domain name.

Basically, once you let the cat out of the box, it's not going back in. Your information is out there, regardless of accuracy. Although you dont like it being readily accessable, the same is true with any public records. You may not like it, but thats what it is.


Comment #15

You are having a problem distinguishing personal information with private information. They are NOT the same. If you want privacy it's obtainable but you don't get it automatically. You can easily get an LLC, open a PO box, and don't use your "personal" information which would then keep it "private". And you are right...I have no sense of privacy mostly because I have nothing to hide. I use my real name here...I use real whois information with my real address and phone number.

Your name, address, and email are public information the second you enter them into the whois for a domain. Read the TOS of your registrar before you post ignorantly.


Comment #16

When people develop unrealistic expectations but don't check when they've had.

Chances to do so, problems like these tend to occur.

Did you try that link I posted before, chulium? Any luck?..

Comment #17

I don't worry about my information being freely available. If you think about it, there are probably thousands of companies out there buying and selling your personal information every day. Information that goes far beyond name, address and phone number. Have you ever been to court for any reason? It's public information and I'm sure some company is selling access to a database with the records. Bankruptcy, divorce, criminal charges, etc.

Basically speaking, if we gathered all the information that every company possesses on you, added it all together and could somehow compare it for depth and accuracy against your own memory, I have a feeling they know more about you than you can remember about yourself..

Comment #18

All of this information bar your email address are available in your local phone directory and public records library as well as being distributed by companies who you forgot to tick the box regarding sharing with partner companies.

If you are so concerned about the site having your details then do as Dave Zan suggests and read through the Privacy Policy page for the site and follow instructions on how to opt out. However if you do not use some sort of whois privacy service your details are still publicly available for any to see when they do a whois search on your domain name (even then some sites offer whois history information such as

Comment #19

This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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