Many shop owners seek to hide their WhoIs information for the sake of privacy. We have also advocated that, yes spam is a problem, but transparency within your business model is worth it. It would seem that Google agrees.
This is a pretty vague patent application, in my opinion, and I really think that mining data in this way should not be legal, nor approved. Fact is, the means in which this is presented is very combative, and identifies SEOs as the cause of link spam. It’s like saying lawyers are the reason for lawsuits, or dentists the reason for cavities.