Simply by virtue of becoming a celebrity, most actors, actresses, and musicians end up forfeiting a lot more of their privacy than the average person.
Exposure of parts of their lives to the camera and print media has always been part of the job description for many celebrities. But the past few years have seen sophisticated attacks that have made them more of a target than ever.
Take a look at some of the worst examples of increased privacy invasions that have occurred.
Hackers steal nude photos
Probably the most celebrated case of violating celebrities’ personal privacy rights happened last month when hackers broke into celebrity iPhone storage accounts and stole personal photos using an off-the-shelf combination of hacking softwares.
After the photos surfaced, one major forum site linked to them and registered hundreds of millions of hits as users swarmed to view the shots. For anyone who thinks that exploiting celebrities is not big business, a recent article showed that the site which linked to the celebrities’ photos made enough money to run its data center for an entire year from revenue generated by the links.
There probably isn’t any easy answer for the victims. This will undoubtedly happen again. Offline storage is probably the most secure option.
Hotel room invasions
Ever since a voyeur made video and photos of Erin Andrews via spy cam while she was in a hotel room, there’s been an uneasy silence about how many more similar invasions of privacy may have taken place. What’s known is that hotels in tourist cities have been attacked by gangs that have the capability of using infrared or thermal signatures to locate precisely where guests are in their rooms.
One executive attending a conference on detecting waves used to push directional sound through walls was hit with a pulse through the wall. This occurred just before the speaker, a worldwide expert, was also hit in the wrist with a pulse that came through the wall, which caused her to drop her laser pointer and let out a yelp.
The technology likely exists to make celebrities’ stay at any hotel a completely public experience. On the positive side for many celebrities, most police departments are aware of this form of harassment and readily respond when asked to help out.
Penetration of medical records
Thanks to Farrah Fawcett, most celebrities in California no longer have to worry about having their medical records invaded and sold to news magazines. After her stay at the UCLA medical center, the FBI determined that the theft and publication of her medical data had been motivated by money.
Shortly after that, the California legislature passed a bill that banned non-relevant parties from viewing patient medical records, which had the general benefit of further protecting the privacy of everyone. Of course, celebrities are still at risk in other states.
They can also get caught in a crossfire if they belong to a large medical system, because people in California can get the information from workers in other states that are part of the same hospital system without worrying about breaking the law.
If musicians only publish their work in sheet music form, they generally enjoy copyright protections as well as are less likely to have their personal privacy become a target of fans. But performing in public on the road, or moving into films and video, will inevitably make them more vulnerable.