Naked Photos of Everyone on the Planet
By 2022, There’ll Be a Naked Photo of Everyone on the Planet Lurking Somewhere in the Interverse
What’s on your handset? Intimate texts? Raunchy emails?
by Charlie Brooker
Only someone with the heart of a concrete robot could fail to feel faintly – just faintly – sorry for the American diplomats whose cables were leaked, what with all that private unguarded chit-chat being made public. If the world had an annual end-of-year office party (which, come to think of it, is a brilliant idea), 2010’s would be an awkward affair.
Still, what’s most surprising about the mass leak isn’t the content – it’d have been more astonishing if they’d said Berlusconi was actually rather charming and North Korea is great in bed – but the fact that this kind of thing isn’t happening every day. Because in our terrible modern hell, it’s possible for absolutely anyone to leave a comprehensive dossier of ultra- sensitive private information about themselves on the back seat of a bus just by misplacing their phone.
The more these devices are capable of, the greater potential for embarrass-ment. What’s on your handset? Intimate texts? Embarrassing photos? Raunchy emails? An eye-opening internet history? I just hope you trust the staff down the Orange store next time you’re upgrading your phone.
Actually, if you’re anything like me, you don’t have anything lurid on your handset at all – partly out of sheer paranoia – but still can’t help feeling anxious whenever someone asks to borrow it. It’s the same uneasy frisson you feel when a policeman looks you in the eye while stopped at the lights – a vague sense of guilt, like you’re hiding something.
And phone-borrowers don’t even have to be deliberately nosy to stumble across your personal details. Even if they only want to make a call, simply by accessing the dial option they’ll be treated to a list of who rang you last and how long you spoke for. On the phone to the doctor for an hour were you? That’s interesting. Here, have it back. Just going to wash my hands.
Another example of inadvertent intrusion: I once used a computer belonging to someone I knew, and logged on to Amazon to look up the release date for a DVD. That’s how I roll. I’m crazy. Anyway, the moment I arrived at the home page, it assumed I was her, and presented me with a list of suggested purchases, all of which were self-help books for people trapped in terrible relationships, with titles such as STOP CRYING, START LOVING and WHEN SEX IS HARROWING. It was an uncomfortable and rather sad glimpse into someone else’s life, I thought, once I’d stopped pointing and laughing.