Listen, I get the points all being raised about the leaked photos of the celebrities that I’ve been reading today. And yes, these issues all have onerous tones about blaming the victim. And yes it’s a crime. And yes, the hacker needs to be punished. And yes, we need to protect privacy. I’ll be honest, I’m about up to my eyes in the noise level today since we live in a society that posts everything they do 24/7 on this little place and others on the Internet and wondering why anyone thinks privacy actually exists anymore?
People jumping on others for saying, “don’t take nudes with your phone” are missing the point. You have this device. This amazing, wondrous portable computer. It’s more powerful (5.2 Million times faster) than the first Room sized Eniac computer from 1947 and it slides into a tiny belt holster, or wallet, or flip case or whatever. It’s hooked into cell towers and GPS satellites and can do amazing things.
You can look up anything on this device. You can search for when the next lunar eclipse is; you can look up when someone was born or when someone died. We can be lifted to heights of joy at the news (and photos) of the new child of a friend, or devastated at the loss of a beloved comedian. The array of knowledge at your fingertips is astounding, and it’s instantaneous.
But that’s not all.
You can record pictures, videos, audio, compose letters, poetry, remember important dates, times, birthdays. You can shop for yourself, others, family, friends, lovers. It is possible to donate money, support the arts, start companies and change the world. You can even find love.
But most important, we know this device is hackable. It is connected to the largest game of telephone ever devised. Care must be taken what is put on it. What is stored on it. What is secured on it. What you say on it. And that responsibility is yours, no one else’s.
And if you are a celebrity, that responsibility is 10 fold. Maybe 100 fold. The British tabloids hacked the phone of their prime minister. We know this happens, it’s a fact. But for some reason, we think… Well, maybe I’ll take photos of (insert whatever you want here) and “it’ll be ok”.
This doesn’t change the fact that a crime was committed, that a person(s) was violated emotionally by leaking this to the public. But it does raise a point of personal responsibility for what you put on this amazing device. It has to. If we aren’t responsible for what’s on this device, who is?
But what this really boils down to is we live in a police state. We live in a country where the NSA spies on it’s own citizens. We live in a country where we can be detained indefinitely without charges. None of our information is secure. Nothing we say is free from scrutiny, monitoring, censoring.
Yet, we have this cognitive disconnect, and we’re somehow all outraged that our smartphones aren’t private?
Look, I get it. More than people might realize. But it’s larger than this.
Support groups fighting for a privacy amendment to the Constitution if things like this outrage you. If everyone’s data is protected, if everyone’s privacy is protected, then we solve most of this with a single silver bullet, because the fourth Amendment is null and void in today’s America.
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
'Papers' referred to personal communications. I think it's high time we expanded that to also include electronic communications and data from these marvelous portable computers we all carry with us from day to day. Like the idea? Pass it along. Get some noise going.
My 2 cents.
- The moms at my local Community Center are a weird bunch. As one of the few Dads there with their kid I tend to notice some of the stranger occurances.
- Today there was a Mom taking her 3-4 year old son into one of the family shower rooms while I was picking up my gym bag from the lockers. They lock themselves into the family shower room and I hear this exchange:
- (Shower turns on)
- Boy: "Butt on the Thigh. Butt on the Thigh. Butt on the Thigh. Butt on the Thigh. (Laughing)"
- Mom: (indiscernible scolding)
- Boy: (bolder) "Butt on the Thigh! Butt on the Thigh! Butt on the Thigh! Butt on the Thigh!"
- Mom: (much louder, clearer, scolding)
- Boy: (defiantly) "BUTT ON THE THIGH! BUTT ON THE THIGH! BUTT ON THE THIGH! BUTT ON THE...."
- Mom: (yelling loudly)
- Boy: (sobbing). "B-b-buuuuuutttt onnn the thighhhhhhh. Bu Buh B-b-buuuuuutttt onnn the thighhhhhhhooohoooohoooooo..."