Registrars: remove phone numbers from Whois

Registrars: remove phone numbers from Whois

You can no longer justify the harm it causes consumers.

A screenshot of iPhone messages


GoDaddy is making long-overdue changes to Whois records sometime soon. As much as I’ll hate missing the data, this is going to significantly improve the customer experience due to the barrage of unwanted phone calls and texts that follow any domain registration.

For domains I purchase, I like to have visible contact information in Whois. But I use services to make this better: a special email address and Google Voice, which blocks a lot of spam texts and phone calls.

I recently bought a handful of domains at a registrar I don’t typically use and neglected to use my Google Voice number. The result has been a dreadful week of robocalls, telemarketers pitching me on web design products, and a lot of text message spam (see picture).

I can handle spam email messages because spam filtering is pretty good. SMS and phone call filtering aren’t as good.

So to the handful of registrars out there that haven’t yet redacted phone numbers from Whois, now is the time. The tradeoff between public data and abuse has clearly tilted toward redacting the information.

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