a novel by JOHN GRABOWSKI

Hack work

Jennifer Lawrence on phone

Jennifer Lawrence: “@#&$*?^!!”

Celebrities such as Jennifer Lawrence have gotten another unpleasant reminder—as if they needed it—of just how public their private lives are.

Seems someone hacked into about one hundred celebrity Apple accounts (aka, the “cloud”) and seized nude photos, with the intent apparently of selling them online and making a pile of money.

My first thought was why would you keep a picture of yourself in your “cloud”? Then I found out these pics were stored on the cloud when these people sent these photos to whomever. Also apparently many of them didn’t know copies were stored on the cloud even after they had deleted the pics from their own phones.

Ouch.

I’m sure this latest event makes some of them long for the era of Polaroids, if they’re old enough to remember Polaroids. Seems like the definition of privacy is rapidly disappearing. Investigators say the hacker got into their accounts by sending very realistic-looking mail purported to be from Apple asking for security information. They complied and the hackers were able to figure out their password based on that. For example, sites like these often ask you to enter promps such as, “What was the name of the town where you were born?” or, “What was the name of your first pet?” When it comes to the likes of JLaw, Selena Gomez and Kirsten Dunst this sort of info is available all over the web. It’s hard for people like them to enter any sort of private prompt because almost everything about them is known. Some privacy experts have suggested making up fake answers to these questions, which is a reasonable idea. But then you have to remember these fake entries, when the reason you’re entering them in the first place is because you forgot your password.

In Entertaining Welsey Shaw, which is about to go in search of an agent, by the way, Daniel Ferreira, the character who tells the story, steals Welsey’s phone itself. Well, not exactly steals. Or maybe so. Depends on how you look at it. She accidentally drops it. He notices but doesn’t tell her. She leaves. He keeps it. And has access to her whole world.

And yes, he finds some nudies. But he doesn’t sell them and isn’t primarily interested in her phone for that. He wants to know more about her, what makes her tick. Compared to this week’s hack, it’s relatively innocent, though still an inexcusable breach of privacy. But being a celebrity fan will sometimes make one do inexcusable things.

That’s why stars such as Welsey Shaw have to be wary even of their biggest fans. Not to mention people like the hacker here, who is now on the run and who has reportedly been disappointed he hasn’t gotten the big financial score he was hoping for with the revelation that he had pictures of stars in their birthday suits. And he may just be the tip of the iceberg. There are reports of a whole underground of this sort of thing, with others who trade in these photos angry at the prime leaker for bringing above-ground attention to their perverted enterprise.

A few of the victims were philosophical. Reality “star” Joanna Krupa, who has posed for a number of skin magazines, says she doesn’t care if her personal pictures get distributed. Another celeb can legally get hers quashed because she was underage when they were taken.

But if things weren’t bad enough for Lawrence and the others who are not happy, now an artist (and I have the strong urge to put the word in quotes even though I have not seen any of his work) is going to display them at his next exhibit at an Florida art gallery.

The exhibit, called “No Delete,” is all about how this very lack of privacy thanks to all this digital media and the Internet. So what better way to illustrate it than to further invade these folks’ privacy, eh? Displaying these nude pictures isn’t exploitational, no—there’s a higher purpose of informing the public and encouraging discussion.

And if you believe that, I have some swampland to sell you.

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