Hogan Lovells and Equality Now collaborate to fight gender based violence

Hogan Lovells and Equality Now collaborate to fight gender based violence

Press releases | 29 January 2024

Over 25 Hogan Lovells volunteers have conducted an investigation of current and prospective laws from around the world that regulate gender-based violence in deepfake technology and doxing, in partnership with leading human rights NGO Equality Now. 

Equality Now – a global non-governmental organisation that uses the power of the law to create enduring equality for women and girls globally – has asked Hogan Lovells to undertake pro bono research into the laws that govern gender-based violence in deepfake technology and doxing. Hogan Lovells has looked at the legal frameworks of 12 jurisdictions across 4 continents and analysed over 100 different laws. 

The invention of the internet marked a significant milestone, providing a platform for innovation, creativity, and connectivity. Concurrently, digital technologies have become increasingly sophisticated, permeating every facet of our lives. Artificial intelligence (AI), in particular, has become more accessible.

However, amidst these advancements, some individuals with malicious intent have harnessed the power of the internet and AI to inflict harm. This disproportionately impacts women and girls. Deepfake technology, which can use AI and facial mapping, fabricates convincing yet entirely false videos and images. Certain individuals have employed this tool to create non-consensual, explicit content, primarily targeting women and girls. This disturbing trend is viewed as a manifestation of gender-based violence, raising concerns among anti-violence advocates. Deepfakes can be a new form of gender-based harm. 

Another troubling practice, doxing, involves the unauthorized public exposure of personal information, which means that that people can be easily and publicly identified and located. This constitutes a form of cyberbullying, perpetuating fear and distress among victims. Christelle Coslin, Co-Lead of the Business and Human Rights practice at Hogan Lovells, noted that, “Legal responses to technology that has enabled gender-based harm have been slow to pick up, but there may be some existing frameworks that are able to regulate these actions. We have been pleased to work with Equality Now to identify these legal mechanisms.

Emma Gibson, Global Co-Ordinator at AUDRi has said, “this research, and the corresponding briefing paper, aims to spark discussions among diverse stakeholders about the challenges of preventing deepfake image-based sexual abuse.”

Thanks to Christelle Coslin (Partner), Eduardo Ustaran (Partner), Yasmin Waljee OBE (Partner), Rhian Lewis (Senior Associate) and Kathleen McGrath (Knowledge paralegal) and over 25 Hogan Lovells volunteers who worked on this research. Please see the full list of volunteers here:

  • Iris Accary
  • Mariana Amaral
  • Valerie Awogu
  • Sophie Baum
  • Lara Bruchhausen
  • Max Cardin
  • Hortense Derrien
  • Patrick Dunn
  • Camilla Froehlich
  • Ashleigh Gray
  • Ashley Grey
  • Daniel B. Gross
  • Ildiko Gyarmati
  • Elizabeth Horton
  • Eseohe Imafidon
  • Lindsey Johnson
  • Hicham Kaddoum
  • Warren A. Kessler
  • Sive Makhulathi
  • Christina Mlambo
  • Danielle O'Hare
  • Bethany Pedder
  • Remington A. Ricciuti
  • Bethan Savage
  • Natasha Thomson
  • Deepa Vallabh
  • Trudy Yates