For this post, I read the article, “We Need a Serious, Federal Digital Privacy Law” by Larry Womack from the Huffington Post. This article discusses the fact that there are no real digital privacy laws concerning theft and distribution of information and pictures, as long as it is not financial. The main focus is on the recent Hollywood leaks of all the nude celebrity photos, and other nude photo issues. He talks about several cases where people who distributed nude pictures of other people without their permission were not prosecuted or even charged because most states do not have laws regarding posting nude pictures of people over the age of 18. Even worse, the people whose pictures are posted are usually the ones who get in trouble, rather than the person who posted them without consent.
Almost every law concerning nude photos or videos only pertains to material of or distribution to minors. This needs to change because people over the age of 18 have pictures and videos of themselves “leaked” all the time, especially celebrities. This is clearly an invasion of the privacy of these victims, yet nothing is done about it. Womack suggests that federal laws need to be made that punish these types of crimes in ways other than sex offense charges. The theft and distribution of private material needs to be treated the same across all types of data, wether that is theft of financial information, identities, or pictures. A common argument against this is “they should not be taking nude pictures in the first place” but the blame should absolutely be placed on the people who distribute the pictures and not the victims. People expect that their private information will be kept private.
This also applies to information collected by governments and corporations without consent as well, such as the recent NSA scandal. If a government agency is monitoring all communications between people who are not considered threats without their permission, those people should have the right to press charges against the agency, or at least be able to see the information that is collected about them, so they can be more informed on what the government is doing. I personally think that, when agencies collect this type of information, it has to be reviewed by a select committee, and permanently erased if there is no threat found.