WHOIS and GDPR survey


DNS Belgium conducted a survey in recent months on the use of the WHOIS tool on our website that you can use to look up registrants. We also asked our visitors why they consulted such data. The reason for the survey is the GDPR, of course.  

Although the WHOIS feature does not change, as of 25 May 2018, the results that you get after a WHOIS search on our website will look different. Pursuant to the GDPR, as of that time, we shall hide all data of the registrant if the latter is a private person. Nothing will change for organisations and companies, unless one of the contacts is a natural person, in which case the data will also be hidden.

We thought it was important to determine first how often WHOIS is used to search for the data of private registrants and for what reason. This should enable us to find a GDPR-proof solution for people who want to obtain the data of a private registrant.

Primarily 'business' searches

There were 44,845 WHOIS searches over a period of about one month. Nearly three quarters of them were searches for the data of companies and organisations. A little more than 25% of the searches concerned data of private persons.

The survey showed that the four most important reasons why people consult WHOIS do not differ for organisations and private persons:

  • Curiosity
  • Check whether the person is really the registrant of the searched domain name
  • Contact the registrant with a request to take over his domain name
  • Check the e-mail address to which the transfer code is sent

GDPR-proof solution for WHOIS

A large number of 'private searches' is therefore conducted by registrants who want to look up their own data to determine whether they are still the owner of the domain name or to check the e-mail address for the transfer code. In such a case, we can simply continue to send the WHOIS certificate  to the registrant's e-mail address after 25 May also.

When someone looks up someone else's data to contact the registrant, we will pass on the request to the registrant in question by means of a WHOIS form . The registrant's data will therefore not be shown and no direct contact will be established with him. That can take place only via DNS Belgium. The registrant is of course not required to respond.

If you still have questions about our privacy rules and/or GDPR, send an e-mail to  privacy@dnsbelgium.be.


transfer code

Code you need to move your domain name to another registrar and/or to transfer it to another registrant. This code consists of 5 groups with 3 numbers. 


Look-up which gives information about the registrant of the domain name, his registrar, the name server and also some information about the domain status. 


Domain owner, person who holds a domain name.


Domain Name System or Domain Name Server. The global DNS is the system and protocol used on the internet to translate domain names into IP addresses and vice versa. 
Internet business