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.CA privacy

theinvestor

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I was reading a post made by a member here on Twitter tonight stating that privacy on .CA domains is only available for individuals and not businesses.

That is actually false for any looking into registering a domain and worried about their business info being public. The majority of registrars will allow you to add privacy for an extra fee if you would like. This is a not a CIRA restriction.

.CA allows full privacy for individuals and businesses.
 

rlm

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CIRA should simply disassociate privacy from the registrant type and make the user choose their preference to be public or private. Personally, I think the current implementation was poorly thought out since it removes a registrant's choice.
 

theinvestor

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I agree. I am not really sure what the purpose of having individual registrants private and businesses public. In reality, you should be able to make them both private or public.
 

Esdiel

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It's true it's different by registrar, and I don't get how/why it's so different.

GD is an example where they don't provide us with the option to turn privacy on/off as we please. I actually called GD about a month ago to turn my privacy on for a couple domains, as I had moved them there a few years ago with the privacy turned off (and couldn't change it since it wasnt an option). The GD Canada rep, named "Angela", told me she would have to "escalate my request" to make it happen, and it got done in about 24 hrs or less.

I took the opportunity to explain to her how it's very strange that a company like GD, with all the bulk tools, bells, whistles etc, didn't provide this option but smaller companies (that don't even provide half the options as GD) do provide the option. I told her GD should definitely implement the option, how we've discussed it in forums, and how it would make many Canadian GD customers happy to see this happen.

The rep agreed it didn't make sense, and that if other companies can provide this option then GD should be able too. She said that she had a "little bit of pull" at GD and that she would try to make it happen. She said I wouldn't necessarily be receiving any updates about it (nor did i ask for updates) and that if it happens it will just suddenly happen after they take the time to look into it. I felt like she was sincere but I'm not holding my breath.


As for the actual policy surrounding whois... below is an excerpt about the subject, taken directly from "CIRA Privacy Policy - Version 2.1 (March 9, 2020)".

The last two paragraphs are what I find interesting (see red font). I don't register domains as a company/organization so I can't be sure how strictly enforced this is or whether it actually works this way in reality. Does an organization really need to contact CIRA in writing and plead their case to turn on whois privacy? Or have some registrars found a work-around which makes it simple/easy?

WHOIS Information

As part of the administration of the .CA Registry, CIRA operates an electronic look-up service called "WHOIS". WHOIS is designed to provide limited information concerning Domain Names.

WHOIS has built-in privacy protection options, which can be used to limit the personal information available through the WHOIS system. For Registrants who are individuals (e.g. as opposed to organizations), the privacy protection options are turned on by default, and only limited personal information is available to third parties when they search the WHOIS system for a Domain Name that you have registered. If you turn your privacy protection option off, more of your personal information will be available through the WHOIS system. Your privacy protections can be changed by contacting your Registrar.

When your privacy protection is turned on, the following information is visible:

Domain Name;
Domain Name status;
Creation date;
Expiry date;
Updated date;
Registrar name; and
Registrar number.

When your privacy protection is turned OFF, the following information is visible

Registrant Information includes:

Registrant name;
Mailing address, e-mail address, phone number and fax number;

Domain Name Information includes:

Domain Name;
Domain Name status;
Creation date;
Expiry date;
Updated date;
Registrar name; and
Registrar number.

Administrative Contact Information and Technical Contact Information includes:

Name;
Mailing address;
Phone;
Fax; and
E-mail.

If you are a non-individual Registrant, the information that will be made available through the WHOIS system will be the same as an individual Registrant with their privacy protection turned OFF. Non-individual Registrants may request to CIRA, in writing, that the information described above not be disclosed to the public via the WHOIS. In such a written request, the non-individual Registrant must certify that it has a legitimate need to protect the privacy of its information, which need is greater than that of other CIRA Registrants who are not individuals, because the nature of that Registrant’s operations or activities is such that disclosure of its information via the WHOIS would be likely to cause harm to individuals or to that Registrant.

CIRA retains the discretion to determine in any case whether a non-individual Registrant meets the criteria and will be permitted to opt out of standard disclosure of information in the WHOIS. If CIRA accedes to the request, the non-individual Registrant’s WHOIS information will only be disclosed thereafter in accordance with the terms for disclosure applicable to individual Registrants.
 

theinvestor

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Interesting….you can definitely have privacy on for business registrants.

This is taken from their website also :

Question 1: Will my contact information be published in the .CA WHOIS?

It depends, but it's easy to determine.

One of the benefits of registering a .CA (besides showing off that your website is proudly Canadian) is that if you select an “individual” category when you register (for example, a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident), you automatically benefit from free privacy protection in WHOIS.

When someone searches for a domain that was registered as an individual, this is what shows up in our WHOIS results:

Personal information about the holder of this domain name is not available in the search results because the registration is privacy protected.

For those of you who are registering a domain and choosing a non-individual category (that is, you're registering as a business), privacy protection may be offered by your registrar, either included in the domain price or for an extra fee.
 

rlm

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Yes, exactly what I was saying. _CIRA_ doesn't give a choice.

1. as an individual, you can't remove privacy. i.e. no choice.
2. as a business, you can have privacy, but through a third party. So you kinda have a choice, but not through CIRA.

That was my point that CIRA should simply disassociate privacy from the registrant type and allow privacy as a separate choice regardless of registrant type.

So CIRA probably thought, oh, a bunch of registrars are going to be pissed if we give away free privacy. So lets take away a big chunk of them anyways (for individuals) but lets throw them a bone an let them still sell privacy for companies only.

But the reality is, companies usually just register it as an individual to get the free privacy anyways if they wanted it.

So the reality is that paying for privacy is effectively dead - at least I would assume so. I mean, who would really pay for it? CIRA should just do like I said and offer it as a separate option - for all registrant types - rather than imposing a choice on individuals.
 

theinvestor

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[notify]rlm[/notify] not sure if you use namespro but you pay once for privacy and it’s for a lifetime and for an unlimited amount of domains. One of the main reasons I use it for business.

Again, that’s more of a preference as I know some prefer their Whois information public. That’s where the issue lies with CIRA.
 

rlm

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theinvestor said:
[notify]rlm[/notify] not sure if you use namespro but you pay once for privacy and it’s for a lifetime and for an unlimited amount of domains. One of the main reasons I use it for business.

Again, that’s more of a preference as I know some prefer their Whois information public. That’s where the issue lies with CIRA.

No I don't, but that is a pretty good deal. Then again - its free via CIRA if you just register them as an individual.

Has anyone ever had any negative implications from registering a domain as an individual versus as a corporation or vice versa? As far as I can tell there's no true difference from any practical standpoint. In fact, registering as an individual is arguably less risky than as a corporation because your corporation can lapse - while your own identity doesn't.
 
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theinvestor

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From a business perspective it doesn’t really matter whether it’s registered as individual or business as long as you are the owner. (What my accountant said) There was an initial transfer of ownership on the books though. So they are actually owned by the business.

Also, it’s not only .ca. .com as well is lifetime privacy which is why I’ve transferred the majority of .com’s to Namespro also.
 

rlm

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theinvestor said:
From a business perspective it doesn’t really matter whether it’s registered as individual or business as long as you are the owner. (What my accountant said) There was an initial transfer of ownership on the books though. So they are actually owned by the business.

And that's my point - in the end it doesn't really matter. Privacy is free if you just select individual...
 

theinvestor

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I’m Canadian so I’m not sure what that means for a business operating outside of Canada and registering a .CA domain. I imagine they wouldn’t want to roll the dice and register a registrant that does not reside in Canada.
 

rlm

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True enough - non-canadian business entities would in theory have more concern - unless the individual they chose to register the domain happened to be a canadian citizen too. So if they had a Canadian trademark, thus giving them right to own a .CA domain, then they should in theory have the registrant match the trademark owner or at least the trademark owner's legal representative.
 
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