Home > Apple, cdnpoli, CDNTech, Digital Policy, Privacy > Jennifer Lawrence Leak Interesting Case Study On Online Privacy

Jennifer Lawrence Leak Interesting Case Study On Online Privacy

Over the long weekend, stories have started to appear online that a hacker gained access to nude photos of actress Jennifer Lawrence taken from her iPhone and stored on Apple’s iCloud. The hacker was able to hack her account to gain access to get iCloud account.  This case is interesting on several levels.

In an age where private industry security has been intentionally weakened through public policy in the name of national security, unfortunately we are likely to see a lot more of these “leaks” as a result.  Canadian Privacy Lawyer David Fraser has an excellent post on the matter, along with steps internet users can take to do their part in ensuring that their data remains secure. In particular Fraser makes some very good recommends:

  • Try to learn the basics of how your device works, particularly about what is synchronised and backed up to online services; check your default settings;
  • Secure your device with a PIN or password (How to: Android and iOs);
  • Add encryption to your device, if possible (How to: Android);
  • Add remote management to kill your device if it is lost (How to: Android (I also like Cerberus Anti Theft) and iOs);
  • Use a strong password for all your accounts. The longer the better. (Read this XKCD comic. Read it, learn it, live it.)
  • Consider a password manager like LastPass to generate complicated passwords for your accounts and to keep them safe. But protect your password vault with the most complicated and longest password you can reliably remember.
  • Use two-factor authentication for your cloud accounts. While not particularly intuitive, two-factor authentication protects your account even if your password is compromised. This is critical. (How to: Google Accounts, DropBox, and most other places.) Any account to which you sync your personal images and video should be protected by two factor authentication.

I would call this defensive passwording. It’s important for users to also do their part in ensuring they have done all they can to protect their personal information, by using strong passwords to their accounts, and make their accounts less vulnerable to would be attackers.  Another valuable piece of advice; if you don’t want your personally information being potentially leaked, it’s best to minimize the exposure of your personal data online.  In other words, if you take nude photos of yourself with your iPhone, or mobile device there’s always a chance that those photo’s could be compromised due the lack of security as a result of public policy.  In other words, keep your nude selfies offline, and off your mobile devices.

Another situation that is arising from this leak, is the speed in which law enforcement got involved, and how social media companies are voluntarily removing these photos at lightening speed, and how this will affect public policy going forward on matters of privacy, cyber bullying, net neutrality, copyright, and free speech.  Something I will be keeping a close eye on as the situation unfolds, and how this these photo’s were obtained. 

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