Privacy concerns at the heart of the evolving web


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I still cannot fathom why somebody would

  • Have themselves photographed nude
  • Upload those photos
  • Expect privacy

What were you thinking? I know, I know, you have a constitutional right to unlimited dick pix. That doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.


I prefer to keep it nice and paranoid, myself; but in fairness to those who don’t a fair few of these leaks have been due to non-obvious-to-the-layman vulnerabilities in various services that claim to have security and meaningful access control and similar niceties(though rarely in any legally binding sort of way).

Sure, anyone who uploads something ‘friends only’ to facebook and then acts surprised when it spreads as fast as juicy gossip has always spread is not the sharpest bulb in the rocket ship; but victims of the spate of social engineering attacks on icloud accounts, or the guy Hunter Moore was paying to hack assorted ill-secured online photo gallery sites back in the day? Those poor bastards are guilty primarily of believing that a service is fit for purpose just because the vendor strongly insinuates at every opportunity that it is. This is, unfortunately, often false; but it’s the sort of thing that goes along with “In a vaguely functional economy it’s not like everyone could just be blatantly lying to you about their products all the time? Right?”.


But they’re not “uploaded” - they’re “stored in the cloud”! Totally different!
I suspect part of the problem is that the uploading is so automated that it’s more or less hidden to the casual user. Plus, there’s the assumption that items “in the cloud” are as secure as items on the device (which, for many devices, is more or less true). On the other end we have people who take pictures and accidentally distribute them because sharing tools are so integrated into the act of taking a picture that it’s (far too) easy to do accidentally.


You have a very good point. Ads today make “the cloud” sound like a suburb of Narnia or Shangri-La. How many people realize it’s just more computers?


I feel like in this case we’re not just coming dangerously close to victim blaming, we actually are literally victim blaming here, since video was leaked without anyone’s permission. We can argue about whether he’s a good person, whether he’s wrong to sleep with Bubba’s wife, and whether his friend was right to give the okay for it to happen, but this comes awfully close to revenge porn.

Come to that, I’d argue that it is, even if Hulk is the one who got hit the hardest by this.

For that reason, it’s weird to me that the press collectively decided to kvetch about him making racist comments, as if being a terrible person made it okay to publish revenge porn. I don’t think so; that sounds awfully close to the revenge porn websites’ typical excuse of, “I dated her for two years, she was a great lay but she’s a psycho!” Imagine if Jennifer Lawrence had been wearing nothing but a swastika in the stolen photos, and Reddit using it as an excuse to leave /r/TheFappening alone.

Anyway, I figure Gawker would eventually die anyway. During the Hogan debacle, The Fapppening happened, and Gawker property Jezebel devoted a lot of time and effort to justified indignation that people would steal and publish the photos. In the meantime, their parent company was defending the practice of posting stolen sex tapes…



If you’re minding your own business and a creepy stranger rips your clothes off and starts taking pictures, you’re a victim.

If you take the pictures yourself and hand them over to the increasingly insecure internet, you’re an idiot. And I have no problem with idiot blaming.


Facebook is running the highest profile VR platform on PC, and will presumably need you logged in for Oculus to work.

No privacy in virtual spaces with Facebook involved.


Add to that: people hacking doctor’s offices and stealing photos documenting post-surgery healing, people photoshopping other people’s heads onto porn stills, and of course the infamous “$300 porno” with the camera hidden in the room somewhere…

I know I’ve read at least one letter to Dan Savage where someone was giving someone else a blow job, only to look up and see a cell phone with the video recorder running.

Unfortunately, there are lots of ways to have nude photos of you, real or constructed, circulated without your knowledge or consent. You may not even know the photos exist.

It’s time to stop victim-blaming and put pressure on the perps. We are now in an era where reasonable caution alone cannot protect you.


Until somebody liberates the tech.
The sooner, the better.


You have a point. I do hope none of those things ever happens to you or me.


Also it’s a high time for the Society to pull its head out of its collective posterior and stop freaking out about such things. Another nude photo leaked? So what?


Thank you for including me in the sentiment :slight_smile:


Already Oculus branded VR “experiences” for Samsung’s Gear VR won’t run if you disable Facebook’s background processes on your phone.


Agree and disagree.

I agree that we shouldn’t be so fascinated about what celebrities look like under their clothing, or surprised or scandalized when famous teenaged millennials act like other teenaged millennials.

I disagree in that these people have had their privacy invaded, and have suffered harm, in terms of reputation, or family relationships, or emotional distress. We shouldn’t shrug our shoulders and say to them, “Get over it. It’s no big deal.”

To those who would incite a moral panic? Yes, to them we should say exactly that. However, you don’t help a person heal from that kind of trauma by belittling their feelings. You help them heal by showing them that caring, trustworthy people do exist, and by ensuring that people who break such trust and violate people’s lives do not profit from it.


For fuck’s sake, man. You’re saying that when a naive teenager believes a company that lies to her and tell her that her pics marked “private” are just as safe as in a drawer at home, or takes a photo on her phone without realizing that the default setting is to save all photos to her Google account, it’s her fault and she deserves what she gets?


Well, when people aren’t interested in how the stuff they use works, don’t RTFM, then use it for a critical purpose and it bites their posterior, who’s at fault?


Show how a modern camera-communication device is as accessible in implementation and implication as a Polaroid.

Also, I remain deeply suspicious of arguments made by those who think that because they have access to a manual, everyone does.


Even if you don’t get it with the device, isn’t it just a google query away?