Deniability problems

Taking a nude selfie is like using the ATM.

Dear Hipster:

Naturally, the leaked photos of Jennifer Lawrence in the news have us all excited to see the dark side of Hollywood’s most wholesome hottie, but now I wonder about online privacy. Is this an invasion of celebrities’ private lives, and should I care about it at all? Also, how the heck do people manage to get pictures like that in the first place?

— Frank

Lawrence (and a host of other celebs) fell victim to “brute force” cryptanalysis, in which computers hack a security key by randomly guessing codes until they get the right one. Nearly impossible with regular computing, specialized code-breaking machines break the operation down into little bits and operate in parallel, astronomically reducing the time it takes to break a standard security key.

Should you care? Meh.

Consider how this (admittedly heinous) invasion of privacy catalyzes experts to improve consumer security in the digital age. Celebrity phone hacking or hackers crashing bank servers? You pick.

Alternatively, see this as a cautionary tale to never include a face in a nude selfie; much like how you should always cover your hand at the ATM to avoid debit PIN cloning. People could learn a thing or two from hipsters who take a direct interest in their food, drink, and fashion. Take an easy, low-tech role in your own security. Don’t expect others to do so.

Neo-feminists stand on the easiest soapbox, addressing the inherent sexism of targeting female celebs. They’re 100 percent correct, but this hipster is already over it. There are more important battles, all quieter, all more insidious.

In the long run, branding experts agree that nude photo scandals are actually good PR for celebrities... except for the ones who deny the authenticity of credible photos, casting themselves as hypocrites in the public eye. Such delicious irony there. If there’s one thing hipsters and naked celebrities have in common, it’s deniability problems!

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