As web designers, we have all relied on Nominet to provide some basic information about who owns a domain name, who is the registrar and when the domain name requires renewal.
We had a new client recently who had 'lost' her website due to her website designer disappearing without trace and her hosting had also expired. In the past, we would have simply searched WHOIS to see if she was the registrant, therefore the owner of the domain name and advising her from there.
However, since the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force Nominet's WHOIS will no longer display the registrant’s name or address, unless they have given permission to do so.
Now we have to advise any new clients in a similar situation to contact Nominet directly for advice of ownership.
Nominet says, "The standard Searchable WHOIS will continue to be available but will only include name and contact details where registrants have consented for their data to be published in the WHOIS to ensure GDPR compliance".