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Doxxing Series

Is Doxxing Illegal In Kentucky?

If you live in Kentucky and have concerns about your online privacy, you may wonder: Is doxxing illegal in Kentucky? 

In this guide, we’ll review whether it’s a crime for someone to share your personal information without your permission in the state and the legal punishment for doing so. 

Is Doxxing Illegal In Kentucky?

Yes. It is illegal to dox someone in Kentucky. 

In Kentucky, the act of doxxing is known as the dissemination of personally identifiable information. An anti-doxxing law became effective in Kentucky in 2021, and was one of the first anti-doxxing laws in the country. 

Under the law, Kentucky residents who were doxxed can sue the person who doxxed them.

What Is Doxxing In Kentucky?

In Kentucky, a few conditions need to be met before the charge of disseminating personally identifiable information can be applied. 

First, the offender must have malicious intent. 

Second, they must intentionally share or publish (“disseminate”) your personal information or the personal information of your immediate family or household member. 

Lastly, the charge will only stick if having the information published puts you in fear of injury (to yourself or your loved ones).

Kentucky doxxing law

It’s important to clearly understand some of the terms used in the law.  

  • “Dissemination” is defined in the state as “electronically publishing, posting, or otherwise disclosing information to a public Internet site or public forum.”
  • “Immediate family member” could mean your parent, grandparent, spouse, child, stepchild, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, sibling, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, or grandchild.
  • “Household member” is defined as “a person who regularly resides in the household or who within the six (6) months preceding the conduct of the offense regularly resided in the household.”

What Is Personally Identifying Information In Kentucky?

In Kentucky, “personally identifying information” includes (but is not limited to):

  • Your social security number;
  • Date of birth;
  • Home address;
  • Email address or telephone number;
  • Financial account numbers;
  • Biometric or health data; or
  • Education and employment information.

What’s the Penalty for Doxxing In Kentucky?

If someone doxxes you in Kentucky, they could be facing a Class A misdemeanor, which is penalized by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $500. 

The penalties increase depending on the outcome of the doxxing. If you, your loved one, or your household member experiences physical injury as a result of doxxing, it becomes a Class D felony. This comes with between one to five years’ imprisonment.

If doxxing leads to serious injury, then it becomes a Class C felony, leading to five to ten years in prison.

Lastly, if doxxing results in death, the offender will be facing a Class B felony, which comes with between ten and twenty years in prison. 

Kentucky doxxing penalties

On top of prison sentences, all felonies in Kentucky can have an added financial penalty of between $1,000 and $10,000.

Is Doxxing Illegal at the Federal Level?

There is currently no law against doxxing at the federal level. That’s partly because doxxing often utilizes publicly available information, and there is already a significant amount of personal data on the Internet. 

Despite this, some states (including Arizona, California, and Illinois) have passed anti-doxxing laws to offer legal protection against doxxing to their residents.

Whether you live in a state where doxxing is against the law or not, you should take steps to protect yourself from being doxxed to begin with. Once your personal data is out there, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to remove it. Furthermore, doxxing can lead to other dangerous criminal activities like swatting

How to Protect Yourself Against Doxxing In Kentucky (And Elsewhere)

To protect yourself from being doxxed, you should begin by doxxing yourself. 

It may sound strange, but if you go through the steps of looking for your information on the internet yourself, you’ll be able to see all of the places that it turns up in – and then you’ll be able to remove it. 

Get started with our step-by-step guide on how to dox yourself using this list of doxxing tools.

Once you’ve doxxed yourself, you can start reducing your online footprint. 

For most people, this usually involves one or more of the following:

  • Changing your social media privacy settings so that your biography and posts can only be seen by people you actually know in real life.
  • Opting out of data brokers, which are companies that collect and sell your personal information. Note that you will need to opt out of every major data broker that has a profile on you, and you’ll probably have to repeat the process as data brokers routinely reactivate profiles when they uncover new information. As an alternative, consider subscribing to a data removal service such as DeleteMe. Our privacy experts will opt you out of data brokers on your behalf, and they will do so continuously, sending you regular reports to show you where your data appears and what has been done to remove it. 
  • Using different usernames for your different accounts to make it harder for bad actors to follow you across the internet.
  • Removing your data from Google services, including YouTube, Search, and Maps.
  • Using a password manager along with multi-factor authentication to make your accounts harder to hack into.
  • Restricting how much personal information you share online.

Want to find out more? Read our in-depth guide on how to prevent doxxing.

Laura Martisiute is DeleteMe’s content marketing specialist. Her job is to help DeleteMe communicate vital privacy information to the people that need it. Since joining DeleteMe in 2020, Laura h…

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