The ability to share documents securely is of utmost concern to lawyers. A new web service, docTrackr, not only allows you to share documents securely, it also enables you to track what happens to your documents and to retain control over them. You can even revoke access to a document after you’ve sent it.

Consider how you normally share a document. If you send it as an email attachment — even if you encrypt the email — you have no idea what happens to the document after it is received. Even if the document is sensitive, the recipient is free to share it with others. The same holds true for a document-sharing service such as Dropbox. Once you’ve shared a document with someone and the person downloads it, you have no way of knowing where the document goes from there.

With docTrackr, you upload a document and enter the email addresses of anyone you want to receive it. You can also set permissions for the recipients, defining whether they have read-only access or can also edit and print the document. docTracker sends the recipient an email (in your name) notifying the person of the document. The recipient downloads the document and opens it. The recipient is required to create a docTrackr account and log-in, but there is no cost. Log-in credentials are required both to download the document and to open it on the desktop.


docTrackr shows the locations where the document was opened. You can zoom in for more detail.

At any time after you send a document, you can revoke access to it with the simple click of a button. Once you revoke access, the recipient can no longer open it — even if the document has already been downloaded to the recipient’s own computer.

docTrackr records the full history of every document you share. It shows you who opened it and when. It even provides two graphical views of document opens. One is a timeline showing opens by the hour, day, week or month. The other is a map that shows the physical locations of document opens.

Files transferred using docTrackr are encrypted using the Advanced Encryption Standard. When a recipient opens a document, docTrackr automatically transmits the appropriate decryption key. In addition, the files that are stored on docTrackr are also encrypted so that only the account holder can access them. (That means that even docTrackr’s own staff cannot see your documents.)

docTrackr works with Adobe PDF and Microsoft Office documents. It also provides integration with the document-sharing service Box, enabling you to use the sharing features of Box with the tracking and control features of docTracker.

At this point, docTrackr is free to use and it will remain free to use for a limited number of documents. At some point, the company will add paid subscription and enterprise plans that will allow higher numbers of transfers and provide enhanced tracking capabilities and administrative controls.

Many lawyers avoid encryption because they consider it difficult or cumbersome. This tool makes it easy to send your documents securely. Plus, it provides the added advantage of letting you retain control over your documents, even after you hit the send button.

Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.