Consumers and Consumer Trust


  • Sarmad Hussain
  • Lynn Goodendorf
  • Bill Smith
  • Peter Nettlefold
  • Olivier Iteanu


Working document

Definition (approved 3 March 2011)

What is a "consumer"?

There is no single universally agreed definition of 'consumer', and legal definitions in different jurisdictions vary widely. Some are narrow and limited to 'natural persons', while others are broader and include various types of organisations.

The WHOIS review team has been considering a broad interpretation of the term 'consumer', as this would allow a broad range of perspectives to be considered by the review team. This appears to be consistent with the intention of the drafters of the AoC.

In the global sense, "consumer" may mean:

  • All Internet users including natural persons, commercial and non-commercial entities, government and academic entities.

And specifically within the context of this review, a "consumer" w.r.t. WHOIS data and WHOIS Service may mean:

  • Any consumer that acts as a Producer of WHOIS data (see above), Maintainer of WHOIS data and provider of WHOIS Service (e.g. Registrars), or User of WHOIS data (e.g. – individuals, commercial or non-commercial entities who legitimately query the WHOIS data).

Feedback request from community

Community feedback is desired on the WHOIS Review Team's approach to this definition. Is it too broad or too restrictive? In either case, how should it be changed?

Consumer Trust Definition (to be finalized)

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