September 3, 2014
I think what surprises me the most about the recent Apple iCloud naked celebrity photo scandal is that it’s 2014 and people, celebrities in their 20’s, thought the Internet was a save place to secure their private nude photos. Since when was the Internet a safe place to store anything?
Edward Snowden, the American hero who leaked highly classified information about NSA monitoring capabilities, currently hiding in Russia, told the world that nothing you do online or with a cellphone is private. He said the government had access to anything. If you believed Snowden, why would you think anything was private on the Internet?
If you own an iPhone, by default, it sends any photo you take to the cloud, specifically, the iCloud. The reason? In case you lose your iPhone or it becomes damaged, all your photos will be backed up and obtainable. I like it because I can take a picture with my iPhone and then immediately have access to the photo on my desktop or laptop. You can always turn this feature off, if you want to.
Did any of these naked celebrity victims know that they cold turn this feature off? I’m guessing not.
Having worked for years in the photo finishing industry, I know for a fact that a lot of people like taking naked pictures of themselves. When I got out of the Air Force in 1994, I was hired by Wal-Mart Photo to work as a repair technician in a new, gigantic photo lab they were building here in Maryland. If you dropped off film at a Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club for two-day processing anywhere in the Mid Atlantic or North-East region, it would be sent to us, processed, and then sent back. Most of the process was completely automated and normally the images were not seen by human eyeballs. As a repair technician working on the high-speed, automated photo finishing equipment, that norm didn’t apply to me. I would see a lot of the photos being processed. There were a lot of nude pics, much more than you would think coming from people who shop at Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club.
Whatever you think the percentage is of people taking nude pictures of themselves is, double it and then double it again.
The takeaway from all this is that if you’re a celebrity who enjoys taking nude pictures of yourself, make sure the technology you’re using to capture your nakedness doesn’t automatically store the photos on the World Wide Internet Web, protected with the same simple, stupid password you probably use for everything else online. Depending on your level of celebrity, you may have someone working for you who is in charge of your security and technology. If so, they should have ensured this didn’t happen. If, however, your level of celebrity is at best, waning, you can just go on Twitter and blame the technology you never bothered to learn about:
Thank you iCloud
— Kirsten Dunst (@kirstendunst) September 1, 2014
If Kirsten Dunst is smart enough to know how to put a pizza icon with a poop icon in a Twitter post, creating the phrase piece of shit, how did she not know that photos taken with her iPhone, even “private” naked pictures, would automatically backup to the iCloud?