By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Jennifer Lawrence and the hazards of the cloud

I haven’t said anything yet about the nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities that got hacked and distributed. But we’re going to talk about it on “Beat the Press,” so I’ve been thinking about it.

To me, the big thing is that the women were using iCloud, Apple’s private backup service. If they had posted their photos to some allegedly private area of Facebook, I guess I’d be snickering right along with some of the others and saying, “Well, what did you expect?” But what the hackers did in this case was identical to sitting in a car outside your house, breaking into your WiFi and looking at what’s on your computer. We all know it can happen, but it’s not the sort of thing that anyone prepares for.

It’s yet another reminder that nothing online is secure.

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  1. Matt Kelly

    What worries me here are critics shouting down anyone who says, ‘If you don’t want to worry about this, don’t take nude selfies’ as sexist or blaming the victim. That’s foolish. This is a problem of online security, period– that the sensitive information happens to be a nude photo, rather than your back account, is incidental. Taking precautions may be blaming the victim, but it’s also common sense.

    I still think Apple should do a better job with iCloud security, but people need a basic awareness that storing anything online exposes it to theft. Shouting down anyone who points that out is a mistake. It’s also interesting to see the media running crazy on the J-Law photo scandal, when the actual big privacy scandal this week is Home Depot, where we don’t even yet know how many people had their privacy violated; it could well be one of the largest breaches in history.

    • Dan Kennedy

      @Matt: I agree, though I think a lot of the commentary is grounded in tech ignorance — people believing Lawrence et al. had done the equivalent of posting their photos on Facebook.

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