Privacy matters

Another weekend, another celebrity scandal. Yawn, right?

Not quite. While it's easy to get eye-rolling blasé about most installments of Celebrities Do the Stupidest Things, the “leaked” nude cellphone photos depicting among others Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton, do not fit into this category.

First, let's be clear on one important fact: The photos weren't “leaked.” They were stolen. And all those people tsk-tsking that Lawrence and her actress kin don't deserve sympathy because they should have known better simply don't get it.

Those pictures were snapped in private quarters with no intention from the involved parties that they would ever be made public.

Perhaps in this age of all things Reddit, 4chan and instant gratification, it's not prudent for a public figure (or anyone, for that matter) to take such pics. But there's a mile between “maybe think twice” and “gets what she deserves.”

Blame the victim much?

Then again, we're so used to giving away our privacy rights to companies such as Facebook and Google, we've lost any grasp of what it means to be a decent human being. Oh, hey, here's that thread containing illegally obtained pictures. I'll just have a looksie—just good, clean, free-speech-protected fun, right?

(Translated: Search for or click on one of those photos, and you are violating someone's privacy. Oh, and you're also a jerk.)

It's interesting that Reddit forbids the posting of personal information: “[I]t is not OK to post someone's personal information or anything else that may ‘invite harassment,'” And yet posting and viewing these stolen pics is somehow OK.

The FBI is now involved. Here's hoping the hackers really do get what they deserve. And just maybe, that the rest of us reconsider our notions of privacy and respect.