Earlier this week, the nonprofit Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) held a meeting and discussed on the fate of the public Whois database. The Whois database reviews contact information of those who own websites. In late May, a general data protection regulation is anticipated to take effect in European Union. This is expected to make the revealing of personal information about website owners in Whois illegal. The GDPR is still debating whether to protect information about website owners who are listed in Whois directory in order to make things more transparent. The GDPR is not for organizations but applies to people with fictitious names and comes into effect if individuals are identified somehow.
If the name of the company or email address is the same as the person who owns it then there are problems which arise. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is planning to divide Whois into two tyres- one which is currently the case, that is it is open to the public; and second that this information can be accessed as and when required by police, researchers, or anyone having legal and legitimate queries. Whether or not journalists will get an access is still undecided. There are many websites which complain that providing contact information to the public at who is results in spamming and in few cases physical violence. The ICANN is trying to strike a balance.