Doxing is the process of gathering information about a person or business using online public sources such as social media profiles, reverse phone lookup and search engines. The information doxed may include a person’s full name, email address, address, telephone number, pictures and other personal details. Doxing typically leads to an anonymous person’s identity being revealed.
Recommended Reading: Webopedia’s Google Dorking definition.
Why People Get Doxed
In some cases, a person is doxed simply because another person wants to learn more about them. There are also instances where a person is maliciously doxed and will find all their personal information has been collected and posted online in one place. A personal dox may be compiled for retaliation or vigilantism or used to threaten, blackmail or harass a victim.
Doxing (the gathering of information) is not an illegal practice, however it has a negative connotation because it violates a person’s privacy and is often used for retaliation or vigilantism.
The phrase doxing garnered international news headlines when Newsweek was publicly accused of doxing Bitcoin creator, Satoshi Nakamoto. Some feel the writer invaded privacy and compared the act to criminal hacking, while others believe the doxing was honest investigative reporting.
Doxing may also be spelled doxxing.