Doxxing, Privacy and Current Issues

This is an Experiential Learning Course.

 

Doxxing (or doxing) refers to the practice of searching for and publishing private information about an individual online as a form of harassment with malicious intent. Concerns over the issue in Hong Kong has heightened in the wake of widespread leakage of personal information about people associated with the anti-extradition protests in Hong Kong since mid-2019 and the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in early 2020.

 

According to Hong Kong’s privacy watchdog, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data, doxxing refers to the dissemination of intimidating messages that can be used as weapons to attack the chosen subjects. The victims of doxxing have included protesters, journalists, police officers, medical personnel, potential carriers and patients of communicable diseases, and anyone associated with the targeted individuals. Some netizens support what they call “doxxing for good” as a means of punishing those who side with “evil”, while others have criticised the doxxers for using personal information as a means of harassing those with different political views.

 

This experiential learning course, which covers the disciplines of law, journalism and social science, aims at developing students’ awareness of doxxing as a social issue and developing their ability to tackle it with a multi-disciplinary approach.

 

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