Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA), the organization responsible for dot-ca domain name operations, is changing its policy on disclosure of personal information of domain name registrants, to better comply with PIPEDA.
Currently anyone can locate the owner of a domain name through a WHOIS search, which displays the person, organization or institution name, address, telephone, fax, and email address. Information of this nature can serve a range of purposes, including unwanted advertising efforts.
On June 10, 2008, CIRA's new WHOIS policy will protect the personal information of new dot-ca domain registrations. Anyone wishing to contact a domain owner will be able to do so through an online contact form. Domains registered before June 10 will not be affected by the policy.
We have yet to see how CIRA will manage the contact form and communication process. If it's anything like most registrars' WHOIS privacy feature, the registrar will send an email or mail to the domain name owner with the third-party request. The domain owner will then decide if they wish to respond.
Dot-com domains have a similar WHOIS privacy feature, but it's dictated by the registrars themselves and not ICANN (equivalent of CIRA that operates dot-com and other top-level domain names). To protect your information for your dot-com, simple enable WHOIS privacy with your registrar.
Next time you register your Canadian domain name, your personal information will not be disclosed to the public.