January 31, 2023

No silver lining to iCloud leak

The recent iCloud leak leaves users worried about their privacy.
The recent iCloud leak leaves users worried about their privacy.

Last August a hacker posted a multitude of private pictures of well known celebrities such as Jennifer Lawrence, Ariana Grande and Kate Upton to the online message board 4Chan. This same hacker boasted that he had around 100 other celebrities’ leaked photos in his possession. The leak has been attributed to an exploit in Apple’s iCloud storage system. We set out to ask various students how they felt about the leak, their security as an iPhone user and if they would continue to rely on iCloud to store their photos and videos.

“Honestly, it was only a matter of time until something like this happens, when you have a lot of data that can pretty much be accessed anywhere because it’s a cloud. I’m surprised this hasn’t happened sooner,” says Mark Moser, computer security.

Notable companies like Microsoft and Apple claim that our privacy is always their number one commitment, but since the iCloud leak users are left to wonder if their private documents are really safe in the hands of these large companies.

“You gotta think of this it way, I’m not a celebrity so my stuff isn’t really going to get out there. They (the hackers) are obviously going to focus on famous people”, first-year student Warren Detres sympathized. “I’m not really worried about it, I love Apple and obviously they’re gonna get that fixed. Everybody gets hacked once in a blue moon.”

iCloud is more than just an application that was hacked. Within the confines of this application contain many private lives that are at risk. We all have secrets that we would rather not have certain people know about.
iCloud gives us the ability to store some of those secrets. One anonymous individual, a student at NCC, explains how she feels about the exploit and the secrets contained in on her iCloud account. She wished to remain anonymous to avoid being recognized by colleagues and fellow students.
“I actually have mature photos and lingerie photos that I had gotten professionally done for special occasions on my iCloud account, so if they were to get out I wouldn’t be that upset, but there are more personal ones that I would be upset about if they got out and would have some explaining to do.”
She goes on to describe the importance of being keen on the internet, a task many people fail to do nowadays.
“Sexting can have its consequences, taking certain pictures means that it can become public, so if you don’t want that then don’t do it in the first place.”
The anonymous individual reveals that, despite what she considers to be Apple’s shortcomings, she will still continue to rely on iCloud, “I am going to continue to use it because I like to keep back-ups of pictures I have taken of my son.”
The devastating effect of our cherished memories being attained without our permission is something that goes beyond just ‘another hacking’. It breaches into the very deepest corners of our mind and steals what we have reserved for our own joy; a place where others cannot venture without our permission.

According to many sources, Apple was aware of the potential security threat months before it occurred. After the incident, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook took a heavy stance on the iCloud leak, stating that the company planned on taking the right steps in order to protect the privacy and security of their users in the future.
Regardless of what Apple does from here on out, the privacy of many high profile celebrities have been forcefully seized and shared online. Resulting in the incident been notoriously dubbed “The Fappening”.
Our era is one of great technological advancements but it is not without fault. Apple, one of the world’s leading technological companies, has helped move this age forward through its notable sleek and clean design, creating a mainstream music device in the iPod, and becoming a company that has captivated the hearts of many people around the world. But Apple, along with all technology, is not without fault.

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