Doxing

Doxing

Ropes & Gray’s doxing practice helps corporations protect its executives from the public disclosure of sensitive or embarrassing private information.

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Ropes & Gray has a long track record of success in the management of matters involving the use and misuse of cutting edge technologies.  While our data privacy group assists corporations in protecting their consumer data from theft and exploitation by cybercriminals, our doxing group assists their officers, executives, and employees in protecting their personal information from public disclosure and abuse.  Our international team counsels clients throughout the world to ensure they take full advantage of the protection afforded to them by relevant laws, Internet and social media policies, and technical solutions.

What is Doxing (or Doxxing)?

Doxing or doxxing (a term derived from “dox,” an abbreviation for “documents”) is the gathering and public distribution of an individual’s personal information – everything from photographs and telephone numbers to social media posts, political contribution histories, and credit card numbers. It generally is done to harass or embarrass the target or his or her employer.

Doxing is a growing problem for corporations and their officers and executives, who can be victimized by irate employees, consumers, shareholders, or even social activists (among whom the practice is sometimes rationalized as “ethical hacking”).  It represents a significant concern not only to the immediate targets of such an attack, but also their employers, colleagues, and even their families.  Individuals targeted by a doxing attack may face defamatory attacks on social media platforms, telephone harassment, and unwanted visitors to their homes.

Ropes & Gray leverages its expansive experience in the areas of data privacy and security, intellectual property, and social media law to help our clients address every aspect of doxing: developing effective preventative measures; arranging for the removal of offending materials from websites and social media sites; drafting and sending out diplomatic, effective demand letters; engaging in informal outreach to doxers and other third parties when possible; helping our clients develop efficient internal processes and responses; working with federal, state, and local law enforcement authorities when appropriate; and litigating if and when necessary.