A Breach of Trust: Fighting 'Revenge Porn'

25 Pages Posted: 4 Dec 2015 Last revised: 26 Mar 2017

See all articles by Ari Ezra Waldman

Ari Ezra Waldman

New York Law School; Princeton University Center for Information Technology Policy

Date Written: December 3, 2015


Nonconsensual pornography, also known as “revenge porn,” is the distribution of sexually graphic or intimate images of individuals without their consent. As scholars have argued, it is, and should be treated as, a crime. But even with a national law criminalizing nonconsensual pornography, attorneys have to get creative to provide necessary civil remedies to victims in need. This essay argues that practitioners should add the tort of breach of confidentiality to their arsenal of tools to fight nonconsensual pornography. Presenting evidence from, among other sources, a series of first-person interviews with victims of cyberharassment, this essay shows that nonconsensual pornography does violence to essential social norms of trust at the core of social interaction. As such, the tort of breach of confidentiality, which focuses on remedying breaches of trust, should be deployed to help victims of “revenge porn” obtain justice.

Keywords: privacy, revenge porn, trust, breach of confidentiality, tort, copyright, public disclosure of private facts

Suggested Citation

Waldman, Ari Ezra, A Breach of Trust: Fighting 'Revenge Porn' (December 3, 2015). 102 Iowa Law Review 709 (2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2698722 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2698722

Ari Ezra Waldman (Contact Author)

New York Law School ( email )

185 West Broadway
New York, NY 10013
United States
212.431.2864 (Phone)

Princeton University Center for Information Technology Policy ( email )

C231A E-Quad
Olden Street
Princeton, NJ 08540
United States

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