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  Following feedback from a number of stakeholder groups, Nominet has reconsidered its plans to expand the public WHOIS. In light of concerns expressed about the display of personal addresses, Nominet will be introducing an opt-out mechanism for non-trading individuals.

From 1 October 2002 the first phase of the expanded WHOIS will be implemented to include the Registrant name, the address details for registrants classified as businesses, the date on which the domain name is due for renewal, and the name and URL of the Tag Holder. This first phase will not include the address details for non-trading individuals.

The criteria by which Registrants are classified as businesses for the phase one release can be viewed at http://www.nominet.org.uk/ref/whois1.html.

Following necessary enabling changes to Nominet's Terms and Conditions, for which a full public consultation is planned, the second phase of the expanded WHOIS is planned to go live on 1 December 2002. All domain names registered or renewed from this date onwards, except where the Registrant is a non-trading individual and has positively chosen to opt-out, will have their address details displayed.

Non-trading individuals include those who do not use or plan to use their domain name for business, trade or professional transactions.

A test output of the expanded WHOIS will be made available in the members-only section of the web site from 1 September 2002, to give Tag Holders a month of testing before the new output is introduced. Further information will follow.

A new optional field on the Automaton template will be available for registrations and modifications made from 1 September 2002, which will give Tag Holders the option of identifying those non-trading individuals who do not wish to have their address details displayed. This field will not be compulsory.

If an individual has chosen to opt-out the address field will not appear on the WHOIS, instead the enquirer will be directed towards their Tag Holder. In this case the WHOIS will read: "This individual has chosen to opt-out of the WHOIS. Contact via Agent".

For further information on the expanded WHOIS, please refer to the Tag Holder FAQ.

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