General Question

elbanditoroso's avatar

Nude pictures stolen (hacked) from Apple's iCloud. Are people really that naive?

Asked by elbanditoroso (22758points) September 2nd, 2014

By now, newspapers and TV are full of stories about how the iCloud was hacked in some way, and hundreds of ‘celebrity’ nude pictures have been released.

I’m not going to advocate that people stop taking nude pictures – it wouldn’t be effective and it’s a pretty natural thing these days.

But why would people save them to the cloud? Putting personal stuff in the cloud – pictures, documents, etc. – is incredibly unsafe. Why would anyone put some personally embarrassing things on any cloud device?

Sure, a corporation pays big bucks to get top notch cloud service, and theirs are pretty secure. But they pay for it. Even they get hacked.

But for a person to entrust iCloud with their personal stuff? I have very little sympathy for so-called victims here—they were being stupid. If you’re going take nude selfies, why wouldn’t you store them on a personal device that YOU control?

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19 Answers

syz's avatar

From the article linked by @SavoirFaire: “the issue is that these women have the absolute right and privilege to put whatever they want on their cell phones with the expectation that said contents will remain private or exclusive to whomever is permitted to see them just like their male peers. The burden of moral guilt is on the people who stole said property”

I mostly agree with the message of the article. I agree that the women did nothing wrong by having nude photos taken of themselves – there is no “scandal”, there is a crime. But I also think it’s naïve to trust that anything on a phone, on the net, or in the cloud is secure.

I lock my doors when I’m not home, but I don’t assume that no one could ever break in.

jca's avatar

I’m no prude but I don’t do nude pictures for this reason. Nothing is 100% safe. Why take the chance?

OpryLeigh's avatar

I agree that it may be a little naive to assume that anything is safe these days but I hate the fact that a crime has been committed and yet so much of what I have read about this case is blaming the victims and not the criminal.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@Leanne1986 – I’m not blaming the victim for having pictures – not at all.

I blame the victim (and the rest of the world) for making the assumption that the cloud was safe.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

Nude pictures are fine and can be very artistic. But, I strongly discourage any woman from posing for erotic or sexually explicit photos. It doesn’t matter if she’s sending or giving the pictures to a trusted partner, such as her husband or long-term boyfriend. Many relationships end, and often with hurt feelings, bitterness, and an irrational need to harm the other person. Despondent people do cruel things for revenge.

If compromising photos are taken with a person’s consent and approval, and then shared with someone else, the pictures are fair game for any non-commercial purpose. The individual can post the photos all over the internet, print the pictures and share the photo album with all his friends and acquaintances, have blown-up posters made and hang them throughout his home, etc.

There’s no question when a subject poses v. having her picture taken without her knowledge. When she’s made pouty-lips at the camera and twisted her body evocatively, she has no recourse when the photo goes public.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@SadieMartinPaul – I generally agree with you wrote, but I’m not sure about your last sentence.

Take that new law in California that outlaws “revenge porn” – basically the internet release of pictures or movies of an ex-girlfriend or boyfriend. In most of those, the “pouty lips and twisted body” were perfectly OK with the subject of the picture at the time it was taken – but now, some time later, the couple split up and the consensual photos that were taken earlier are suddenly “illegal”.

(which is why the California law is stupid – how do you make something retroactively illegal?

Anyway, there is a logic problem between what you wrote (she has no recourse) and the laws in California.

rexacoracofalipitorius's avatar

Yes, people are that naive. Most people don’t know what “the cloud” even is, and if Apple or another company comes along telling people that “the cloud” is magic pixie dust that keeps their files securely stored, available anywhere, and maintenance free for this low low price, then people are going to believe it.
I agree, most of the ‘blame’ in this situation redounds to the scumbag that stole the files; but some also falls upon the failure of the “cloud” providers to adequately secure their infrastructure, to their less-than-honest marketing and absurd end-user agreements, and to our society’s failure to downgrade the reputation of organizations that repeatedly and consistently fail their customers in this way.

In the meantime, it’s not helpful to blame individuals for not knowing things about which they haven’t been trained. Hardly anyone knows anything about network security, and almost no one outside Apple / Google / Amazon / EMC / etc is able to evaluate their security. Meanwhile all these companies are advertising “secure” services, and some of these services are compromised regularly. As in, every day. I won’t name names, but at least one of these “cloud” providers is infamous for letting known exploits fester for months.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

Totally agree with @SavoirFaire and @rexacoracofalipitorius. The women have every right to have nude photos and in these days of digital photography, to suggest they should keep them on a USB in a safe or similar is unrealistic. Where and how are they supposed to store these digital photographs? Presumably they want to share those photos with someone they love and trust. They’re likely to do that via an electronic device of some type and so it’s fairly reasonable to expect they want to do that through some mobile or online technology.

These women stored their photographs in a space they mistakenly thought was safe. While that may be naive, but those who provide internet storage services have a responsibility to ensure their infrastructure is as safe as it can be. I’m not seeing a great deal of outrage about their lack of security or what options are available to improve the security of our data online.

Winter_Pariah's avatar

@elbanditoroso It isn’t taking the pictures which becomes retroactively illegal. It’s sharing publicly something that was meant to be private without the consent of the individual whom it is also meant to harm. For all intents and purposes, even if the revenge laws themselves are stupid, it is still invasion of privacy, public disclosure of private fact and intentional infliction of emotional distress upon whomever the petty fool is getting “revenge” on.

Edit: Just some additional info, California is one of 13 states that have revenge porn laws.

Silence04's avatar

I think the problem here wasn’t taking nude photos, storing them on the cloud, or any vulnerabilities with iCloud. The main issue was their passwords were too simple.

There wasn’t much real hacking that happened. They just ran a simple free script that would guess the password by going through every word in the English dictionary.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t see how people could be that naive. When I first got my iPhone I didn’t like that everything is saved to the cloud, is there a way to disable that?

I definitely don’t do naked photos. I didn’t do them when I was a teen and nothing was digital, I certainly would not do them now. However, I have been topless at beaches, so someone could snap a photo, but I would not be horrified if wound up somewhere, although I do think it is Awring for people to do that. It’s just not nice.

I heard one actress said it isn’t her body.

Artistically I like nudes, female nudes, but without someone’s permission it completely ruins the art. I don’t want to see someone’s body if they don’t want to show it.

Haleth's avatar

“I’ve never heard anyone respond to financial hacking by saying, Just don’t use online banking. That’s what you get for using credit cards.” -@Farhad Manjoo on twitter

JLeslie's avatar

@Haleth My mom says it. She won’t use her credit card online, she won’t do any banking online. She does use credit cards, but I know previously she wouldn’t use the pay at the pump machines, maybe she has changed that. She doesn’t use debit cards or ATM’s, either do I for that matter. When I was in sixth grade and wanted a diary like my other girlfriends she said, “don’t write anything down you don’t want other people to know.” My boyfriend’s brother when we were in high school sometimes video taped himself and a girl having sex (his brother was in his 30’s) the family was very photograph and video oriented. I never let him take a nude of me.and definitely no videos.

jca's avatar

@JLeslie: I am very conservative with what I do online, like your mom is. I don’t do online banking at all. I will use the services of a brokerage company because they only do online. I don’t like that I have no choice but if I want to buy or trade securities, I have no choice with that company. I will use credit cards and the ATM but I try not to use credit cards for gas (also because gas is usually cheaper if you pay cash). I also try not to use credit cards when possible for making store purchases. I will take out 200 dollars in cash and use it till it’s used up.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca Credit cards have protection, so there isn’t much risk with them, but if it is stolen and used it can be a little bit of a hassle to get it straightened out. $200 cash can last me six months! The only reason it would get used up faster is if I had a meal out with friends where I threw in cash, because it sometimes is easier than splitting things on a credit card. Or, if I travel I use cash a little faster sometimes. Gas stations here don’t do a discount for cash like some locations around the country do.

jca's avatar

$40 for gas, maybe between $60–80 at Costco or sometimes more, that’s right off the bat. If I go to Walmart, or another food store, that could be 40–80 bucks. That’s how it goes.

JLeslie's avatar

I use credit cards for pretty much all my shopping. The only time I use cash is when it’s a really small purchase, sometimes for parking, splitting bills, vending machines, I can’t even think of what else.

filmfann's avatar

A question about self created porn has degraded into a discussion about online banking.
Maybe fluther is dead.

Regarding naivete and this scandal:
The hackers should go to jail, and the celebrities should feel pretty stupid. I think we have a chance of both being accomplished.

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