Tuesday, September 2, 2014

And now a word about nude photos and Internet privacy

First, let me say that hacking is vile and there is no defense for or of people who illegally obtain information and cause damage with or to it.

Furthermore, people who save or upload files (including photos) to what they have been led to believe or were told was a "secure cloud" (which is really just someone else's bigger, more powerful, more secure computer) have a right to expect that their files and privacy will be protected.

In other words: What the hackers who stole Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, and other female celebrities nude photos and posted them on a message board did was not only wrong, it was illegal.

All that said, FOR YEARS NOW we have constantly heard about nude photos and videos and sexy texts "getting leaked." And we have heard about supposedly secure sites (belonging to credit card companies, retailers, hospitals, hotels) constantly getting hacked. So ya gotta wonder why anyone, especially celebrities, would trust or believe that their nude photos would be safe on their iPhones and iPads, especially if they had sent those photos to anyone.

Granted, I'm a news junkie (and, okay, write about technology for a living).

So do celebrities not read the news? Did they somehow miss all the stories over the last five or so years (or longer) about their friends' nude photos and videos and sexy texts getting leaked? Did they not read any of the articles about problems with mobile security, or at least hear about it from a friend? Do they not have grandmothers, or mothers, or friends who constantly told them, don't email (or text or tweet) anything you don't want your grandmother to see?

Btw, I'm not saying that people who take nude selfies or who let their boyfriends take nude photos of them are "asking for it." (Though I am constantly surprised when I hear girls and women say they were surprised and hurt that their boyfriend or friend shared that nude photo of them. Really? In this day and age that surprises you?)

Again, I am not in any way condoning what the hackers did, but...

If you are really really concerned about a nude photograph of you possibly showing up someplace you didn't intend it to, the best way to prevent that happening is... don't take a nude selfie or allow your boyfriend to take nude photos of you with his phone or iPad.

For more information on Nudiegate, read this piece titled "A comprehensive, jargon-free guide to the celebrity nude-photo scandal and the shadowy Web sites behind it" from The Washington Post.

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