A leak or an invasion of personal privacy.

**disclaimer: this may not be eloquent because I’m slightly frustrated at the misplaced blame**

There has been a lot of discussion about the nude photos that made they rounds on the internet. The photos that created so much activity sites like 4chan, Reddit and Twitter has explosions of activity they almost crashed. 

It wasn’t a leak, it was a break in, full on robbery. Our choices define our destiny, but this can always be disrupted by other’s choices. Dr. John Armstrong states “Agency is the power that people have to direct their actions. Actions may be observable from the outside such as raking leaves, reading a book, or eating a sandwich, or they may be those which are entirely contained within an agent’s mind such as summoning a memory, focusing one’s attention upon a speaker, or thinking about tomorrow’s trip. All of these actions we can direct, but there are also actions, or perhaps ‘doings’ (to use a weaker term), that can happen without our direction or even against what we would prefer. When either of these circumstances obtain, we can be said to be acting involuntarily.” (Agency in Plato’s Laws, 2006)  

I keep seeing things written about the nude photos like “they shouldn’t have taken them in the first place” or “if they don’t want others to see them they shouldn’t have taken them”. My response to that is: Why? The photos were taken, this isn’t the crime here, the crime is the involuntary sharing of these private photos. 

Some will talk about disrespect, others may say stuff like it’s their own fault for taking the photo, but guess what, it isn’t. That’s like saying, because I bought a nice 60″ TV and left my blinds open for natural light I was BEGGING or DESERVING for it to be stolen. The fault lies in PRIMARILY in the person who decided it would be their right and enjoyment to publicly violate personal privacy. I don’t think there is a single thing wrong with taking a nude photo of yourself. It is in fact the ONLY time that consent is 100%. You are taking the photo of yourself. I’ve taken nude photos of myself; especially when I am feeling particularly awesome about my physique. Yes, I could do this in my underwear, and I have. I see no issue in taking the photo, in fact I see NO issue in sharing the photo, especially if I made the choice to share the photo (say you know like TheHusband cause we like to keep it hot and sexy like that). Again, this isn’t me confessing that I’m sending nude photos of myself to someone, it’s merely me expressing my thought on the matter, so don’t take anything out of context and think “Whitni is sexting or sending nude photos of herself to people!”

What I do, in my personal privacy is my choice. See there is that choice again. I (and I’m sure the celebs) don’t take these photos expecting them to be hacked and distributed. Like your home, we want nice things, we want a clean home and we like to admire our home; we take precautions to protect these things. As with many other things. Guess what, to hack the accounts that means the owners were ALSO taking the precautions to protect their goods. If you didn’t know the word hack means “use a computer to gain unauthorized access to data in a system.” They weren’t lying on the street with a free sign. They weren’t sitting in a cloud storage with a CC license (Creative Commons is a non-profit organization headquartered in Mountain View, California, United States, devoted to expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon *legally* and to share). 

I think so many of us are missing the point of this situation and we are essentially saying “You deserved this”. NOBODY deserves what happened, ever. Violation of privacy, zero consent given, and personal information shared with anyone and everyone willing and wanting to see. Are you getting my drift? This isn’t about taking the photo, this is about security. This is about abuse of power and abuse of knowledge. Those who hacked the accounts (abuse of knowledge), could have seen the photos, enjoyed the photos and then left but they didn’t. They chose to flood the internet. 

Our focus should not be on the subjects of the images, our focus should be on are we keeping our valuables secured from malicious hackers who if accessed could try and destroy our lives. Appreciate your goods, but keep them safe.

All I ask is be careful. Don’t be naive, protect yourself. Look at the larger picture before making claims and pointing fingers. STOP JUDGING! Just don’t do it. Taking a nude picture of yourself doesn’t mean you disrespect yourself. It’s risky (and risqué :-P) so again be careful and don’t be naive (showing a lack of experience, wisdom, or judgment). Protect the things you want to keep private.

Learn & use the protocols for strong passwords (http://www.infoworld.com/d/security/creating-strong-passwords-easier-you-think-206865). Understand what cloud storage is, if you plan on using it. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_storage). Know your privacy settings on your computer (https://www.privacyrights.org/securing-your-computer-maintain-your-privacy) & on your mobile devices (http://www.staysmartonline.gov.au/home_users/Secure_your_mobile_phone_and_devices)

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