Learn the cloud

On Sunday night, hundreds of nude photos of A-list celebrities were stolen from Apple’s iCloud service and leaked online. The result was public outrage as individuals likened the theft to sexual violation.

The public’s response in some ways speaks volumes about our society’s obsession with celebrity culture. The treatment of this scandal as exclusively a “celebrity” problem is distracting from the serious gender and privacy issues at play.

Discussions have been dedicated to where the onus should lie — if at all on the nude photo-taker — but the blame game isn’t a useful conversation to have in these circumstances.

Technology makes things ambiguous because there isn’t a physical reality that we’re interacting with. But whether we can see iCloud or not, it’s supposed to be a secure storage space. This space was broken into and content was stolen, making this a theft and a gross violation of privacy rights.

Violence against women has found a new platform, and although the effects aren’t physical, they’re long-lasting and inescapable.

Through celebrity culture we’ve set up an entire economy that is based on purchasing access to bodies — through magazines and gossip pages. There’s always this desire for more, so when a scandal like this breaks out, lines that were supposed to be drawn are crossed.

It’s important to consider that this isn’t only a women’s issue, but that men have fallen victim to nude photo scandals as well. While these incidents affect the reputation of women differently, male victims shouldn’t be disregarded.

People shouldn’t have to live in fear of their information being stolen, but technology has changed the game.

That means taking steps to protect all of our information — not just nude photos.

More than anything, this scandal demonstrates to us how little the average person knows about the mysterious cloud. There’s something greater to this technology, and it’s not as safe as we thought.

We need a systemic education of our society, so that people understand what these things are and know how to protect their privacy.

Journal Editorial Board

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