Nominet is currently undertaking what they describe as a “major initiative” to validate registrant data of all .UK domain names.
Upon registration of a domain name, Nominet requires “the full details of the person, organisation or company signing up for a domain with us as well as valid contact details,” according to a post on the Nominet Insight blog. “For example, if the registrant is a limited company it is important to supply the full company name as recorded at Companies House; or if the registrant is a sole trader, the name of the person who is trading must be supplied alongside their trading name.”
But as with probably all TLDs, a proportion of registrant data is incomplete, inaccurate or out of date, so the .UK registry has “been working with a third party to validate the data against publicly available databases (including Companies House, the Electoral Roll etc) and then working through records that cannot be validated to improve them.” Nominet has “a dedicated customer services team dealing with incorrect details, responding to enquiries and working with registrants to fix the information provided.”
“The quality of registrant data, often referred to as WHOIS data, matters because it records who is legally responsible for the domain name. The provision of accurate registrant data helps to combat fraudulent domain name use but it’s also reasonable to expect that an internet user can look up a domain name and identify the person or company behind it. It’s one of the many things that contribute to the trust users have in .UK.”
Since commencing their Data Quality project Nominet has “dealt with more than 600,000 records that couldn’t previously be validated.”
In the vast majority of cases, Nominet note they have been able to update the data and move on. In some cases, domains where they could not contact a registrant have been suspended and in a few isolated cases, registrants (some of them Nominet notes are long-standing and loyal .UK users) saw their domains suspended because of out of date email addresses, which meant they didn’t receive the various email notifications sent out.The full Nominet Insight blog posting is online at blog.nominet.org.uk/insight/2012/08/nominet’s-data-quality-improvement-programme/To register your .UK domain name, check out EuroDNS here.