Privacy is Dead

Tim Cook Defends Apple’s Security in Wake of iCloud Hacks

"I <3 privacy." (Wikimedia Commons)

Earlier this month, a number of nude photos were leaked stolen from the various celebrities’ iCloud accounts, leaving many questioning whether Apple products are really as secure as they thought. Though he doesn’t explicitly reference the hacking scandal, Apple CEO Tim Cook took to the company’s website on Wednesday to publish an open letter affirming Apple’s commitment to users’ privacy, as well as detailing new security measures. Read More

Privacy is Dead

Mysterious Website Shows Your Facebook Privacy Settings Aren’t So Airtight After All

(Screengrab: DigitalShadow)

My Facebook has been semi-private for quite a while, but just last week, I locked it up as tightly as possible. I figured I had made all my personal information totally inaccessible to outsiders — but a scary new website proved I was completely wrong.

With my new privacy settings, people who aren’t my friends see a nearly empty profile, consisting of only a profile picture, a cover photo, where I work and my friends list (only because I couldn’t figure out how to hide it). No one — as far as I knew — was able to see any photos, check-ins or any of those embarrassing “likes” from years ago. Nothing. Read More

Unsolved Mysteries

Our Very Own Catfish: How a Creepy Stranger Co-opted an Observer Photo to Infiltrate a Small Town

Eli Steveness' Facebook profile picture

On August 20, the Observer received an unsettling email from a grandmother in small town California named Cheryl Nagle. She asserted that a mysterious man on Facebook was infiltrating her community’s social media networks, and creepily sending friend requests to a bunch of local kids. And that the Observer, in some bizarre way, was connected to it all.

Obsessed with MTV’s Catfish, we took Ms. Nagle up on her tip. It turned out to be true. Read More

Great Achievements in Facebook

Project X Haren: Why One Dutch Teen Will Never Neglect Facebook Settings Again

Movie poster edited for Project X Haren

A Dutch girl posted an invitation to her 16th birthday party on Facebook. She apparently forgot to set it to private–friends and family only.

Somehow her invitation went viral in a distastrous way. Thirty-thousand people showed up, rioted and shut down Haren, a small town over 100 miles from Amsterdam. CBS reports that authorities in Haren knew something was coming, and the city thought it was prepared: Read More