That huge hacking scandal and what it tells us

Social networking sites exploded on Sunday when a host of nude celebrity photos were posted on 4chan. Initially uploaded onto the image sharing website by an anonymous user, the photos soon […]


Social networking sites exploded on Sunday when a host of nude celebrity photos were posted on 4chan. Initially uploaded onto the image sharing website by an anonymous user, the photos soon found their way onto Twitter, where users started rapidly sharing the photos.

Hundreds of thousands of tweets were posted in response to the leaked photos, many of which expressed empathy for the A-list celebrities whose cloud accounts had been hacked. Nonetheless some expressed thanks to the hacker in awe of the nudes whilst others jibed at the appearance of those targeted.

This hacking scandal once again raises the ugly question of digital security. In this day and age where our devices are often automatically synced up to one another, where the internet is just a click away and where online data storage services are used habitually, one too often forgets the risks. This tremendous hacking scandal is a reminder that any data stored on iCloud remains on a server somewhere on the web, making it forever vulnerable to vicious hackers…

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Jennifer Lawrence was one of the celebrities targeted by the hacker, who claims to have more than 60 explicitly intimate photos of the actress. Lawrence’s agent described the act as a “flagrant violation of privacy”, further stating:

the authorities have been contacted and we will prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence.”

Kirsten Dunst, Kate Upton, Hope Solo and Ariana Grande were among the names of the stars targeted, however Grande soon came forward to assure fans that the photos of her were fake. Following the photo release, a master list of names of alleged victims was released online by the hacker, who claims to have access to photos of over 100 celebrities.

Twitter has taken swift action and is suspending the accounts of those who retweet or republish the photos. The perversion of privacy is not being taken lightly and police are being instructed to take action against those who promote it. Yes, that means anyone raving about it on social media had better watch out…

Digital poster on a social media theme. Selective focus on headline text.

Most of us wouldn’t wish to be seen naked in the physical presence of millions of people- the sheer thought would make us feel extremely uncomfortable, so why are we happy to store risqué photos on iCloud?

The sheer speed in which images can be shared thanks to social media is not a force to be reckoned with and if our precious data fell into the wrong hands it would be almost impossible to reign in again. You may think that capturing and storing explicit content on our devices makes it for our eyes and our eyes only, but this privacy evidently cannot be guaranteed.

There will of course always be those who simply cannot resist the urge to get frisky in front of the camera. Those of you willing to take that frisky risk, at least remember this golden rule: do not include your face in the shot!

What are your views on this hacking scandal? Should celebs be more careful? Do YOU feel at risk now? Let us know in the comments below!