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The last bastion of privacy, or just more false security?

Spend a few minutes on Google, BING, or whatever search engine you prefer, and take a look at Private Domain Registration. You’ll see things like GoDaddy, DBP, Whois and a lot of other acronyms and alphabet soup. What do these things really tell you? After a few hours of reading I have to say, not much. After reading countless articles on the merits of

private domain registration I’m not sure if it matters whether your information is private or not. Take Alan Cordle of Portland, Or for example. Here is a simple librarian trying to point out what he thought were flaws in national poetry competitions.

After posting his thoughts and opinions online, privately, because his wife is a poet, angry poets made phone calls to GoDaddy and voila! Instantly available personal information. What does this tell us? If you ask GoDaddy they say they reserve the final right to whether your information is kept private or not. Ask Alan Cordle and his wife and I’m sure you’ll get a whole different answer. It turns out that in the DBP agreement there is no language the precludes them from canceling your privacy and making your information public knowledge.

Not helpful if you’re trying to stay under the radar. There are those who would say, well why should you be hidden away and protected? Take this example. Let’s say you are an 83 year old lady who wants to start a website about her cats and maybe sell pictures of them to make a few extra dollars. Cat food is expensive, you know. Should that poor old lady have her information available to every Tom, Dick and Harry that might want to steal her identity? Or perhaps for all the immature hackers out there working to hone their skills? Maybe she should just be unprotected in general. Or maybe you should be too.

For every malevolent reason to keep your identity private there are countless benevolent reasons. I understand that companies are trying to protect themselves from litigation and the like but should it be done at the expense of the individual? Where should GoDaddy have drawn the line with the Librarian and his issue with poetry competitions? Was it really worth the trouble that it will undoubtedly cause his poet wife in the future? I think not. Now everything she submits will be tainted with the stink of her husbands opinion because GoDaddy didn’t look out for the little people. Alan Cordle thought he was insulating his wife from his possibly dangerous assertions and he trusted the promise of Private Domain Registration to help him out. It looks to me like in the long run, everyone loses.

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