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Why Do Web Hosts Ask For Home Address?

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Okay, so I’m very surprised that Google isn’t coming up with anything on this either. I thought it’d be an easy Google search.

I’m planning to start a paid web host, and we’re designing the signup process. Almost every host I have used asks customers for their home address. I’ve always put my address in the sign up, but I know many people are particularly privacy-conscious and put fake addresses. The address is also standard with software like WHMCS.

I’ve always wondered why this was, since web hosting isn’t a service which involves your home, virtually all of billing is online, and with the exception of a few promotions from Google Adwords, I’ve never received mail from any web hosting company.

I heard from someone a long time ago, and I can neither remember who or when, that it was required for taxes to keep the address of every customer. I wasn’t able to verify this with a Google search, or anything.

I know that domain names require a valid address, though if they are registered with privacy protection, the privacy protector has a valid address. I don’t know how ICANN deals with situations like that, if you give a privacy protector a wrong address. Also, many customers wont need domains, and are fine with subdomains or free domains they can find online.

So, is it a requirement? Why do you collect the user’s home address? What do you do if a customer doesn’t want to provide this information?

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