Home addresses to be published online by .uk domain firm Nominet

A policy change by .uk domain company Nominet means "commercial" users will have their details publicly displayed

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Nominet, the company which manages the registry of .uk domains, has issued a rule change meaning that domain name owners' home addresses will be published in online search results. Those signing up for the registry must now also agree to display their full names on the company's public database.

Previously Nominet allowed registrars to opt out of having their postal address being shown in search results. That has now changed, according to a post on the firm's website, so that only domain holders who are "non-trading individuals" can opt out.

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It goes on to define that any website that uses pay-to-click advertising or trades in any form over the internet will be counted as a business and have its details revealed.

"To opt out, you must be a consumer'" a Nominet employee told blogger Andrew Norton. "[An] individual who has registered and is using the domain name for a purpose unconnected with any business, trade or profession."

Many websites, however, do not fall into this two-tone view of consumerism. A number of blogs contain links to related products or PayPal donation services yet the creator doesn't use the site solely for their profit.

Problems may also arise for those who write from within their industry teachers, footballers and whistleblowers people who would not want their name and address being published for those they work with to find.

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Nominet told the Guardian: "We will review our guidelines and policy around privacy opt-outs, as we want a sensible approach that is sensitive to those who rightly wish to keep their details private, and fair to consumers who expect to know who they are dealing with. We will implement any changes we consider necessary."

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A survey by EMC revealed that 59 per cent of people in the UK believe that their privacy is fading away, while 84 per cent expect it to be gone completely within the next five years. People want the benefits of technology without the sacrificing their own privacy, the survey's conclusion read.

The decision by Nominet could cause the .uk domain name harm in the future, as those looking to legitimise their websites with an official suffix look elsewhere.

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