Geek Girl in Hollywood: Ashley Madison and why I'm not laughing
It might seem funny about some of the Ashley Madison profiles —or at least John Dugger —but we shouldn't be laughing at the theft of people's personal info.
I admit it, I was just as gleeful as everyone else hearing about the Ashley Madison customer leaks. I laughed my butt off, hearing how the company that had been using shady business practices was called out. I made divorce lawyer jokes like everyone else. I also got a little nauseated, realizing that though this one may seem like karma, the next hack might be me.
I railed against the hack and release of nude celebrity photos last year, some of which were done for their spouses on their personal phones and deleted. Honestly, who the heck cares if someone wants to take nude photos of themselves or why? This hack isn’t different.
Thinking about the whole Ashley Madison thing this weekend brought that up. I remembered an argument I had over Twitter (yes, I know: don’t engage) with someone who thought those celebrities deserved what they got. I argued that there was nothing wrong with nudity, and she (yes, it was a woman) said that they should have known they’d be hacked. Because what? We’re all tech experts? She said that they should have put those photos on a thumb drive and locked them away in a safe. I asked if it was stealing if someone broke into that safe. She said yes. I tried to explain that it’s stealing if it happens on the internet too.
That’s what this is. It’s stealing. It’s not any different than hacking those photos or breaching Target’s security to take credit card numbers. (Which, by the way, caused many banks to reissue cards with super low spending limits during the holidays, stranding people away from their families because they couldn’t purchase a plane ticket with said limits.) Maybe they did it to expose the lack of security, but the people they hurt weren’t doing anything wrong.
Now, look: cheating sucks. I’ve always looked at those Ashley Madison billboards in disgust. However, I’m not in anyone’s bedroom but my own. I don’t know anything about those people. I don’t know why they cheated. Frankly, it’s none of my business. What freaks me out is that this is happening so frequently. Remember the Sony hack? Sure, it shined a light on some serious Hollywood sexism. It’s a good thing that we’re talking about this stuff. What everyone forgets is that people working for the company, who had nothing to do with that, had all their personal information leaked as well.
What I’m saying is this: I’m going to stop laughing. OK, not at Josh Duggar, but at everyone else. I don’t know if there is a solution. I’m just going to lay low and hope the next time around, it isn’t me.