Celebrity privacy- how far is too far?

Erin McDunnough, Managing Editor

Picking up your iPhone, you snap a photo of yourself.. It’s one you would never think to send to anyone else, and if it ever reached the eyes of your parents, you’d probably never leave your house ever again. It’s a nude photo, and you don’t send it to anyone. But you can’t bring yourself to delete it and because you have a passcode set, it’s safe, right?

I’m sure that’s what a lot of female celebrities thought before their iClouds were hacked. Most of these celebrities whose photos were leaked include Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Kirsten Dunst, and many others. Victoria Justice, who had denied the legitimacy of the photos allegedly taken from her phone, has still stated that she has been pursuing legal action.

The photos were leaked onto 4chan, where they saw no problem with what had happened. The rest of the internet, though, had many ranges of opinions and thoughts about celebrity privacy.

While the iCloud leak was obviously harassment no matter how famous the victims were, it still brings about the question: how far is too far when it comes to public figures and their privacy? Tabloids have been around for decades, and can be found anywhere from the internet to the local supermarket. It’s understandable to want to follow the lives of a role model, but how far does that go?

Recently, Harry Styles was photographed throwing up on the side of the 101 freeway in LA, after a heavy night of drinking. His friend, the driver, pulled over for him, and of course there just happened to be paparazzi on the side of a busy freeway to get shots of him. His friend, as well, had his camera up to take photos/videos, as seen in many candids. Styles, one-fifth of famous boyband One Direction, never seems to catch a break when it comes to gossip magazines. I’m sure anyone can agree that finding pictures of a celebrity they like out and about is great, but sometimes there’s a line crossed.

Styles’ band member, Zayn Malik, must have felt that there was a major line crossed when fans “found” his bag at an airport and kept it. They say they tried to return it, and while maybe that’s true, they did not have to post pictures of the content found in the bag, which included clothes, a menu from a hotel, and his sketchbook. One fan wrote (under the hashtag #ZaynDeservesPrivacy on twitter): “Stealing or ‘finding’ Zayn’s bag is one thing. But taking pics of his belongings and spreading them around is a new low.” This was posted after the photos were released online. What really upset 1D fans, though, was the fact that the girls posted pictures of the artwork and doodles inside the sketchbook. To a lot of artists, their work is private, and the girls posted some of his doodles to be laughed at.

These aren’t isolated incidents, either. Paparazzi can earn around $187,000 a year just from following around these celebrities and taking pictures of their private lives. If that were done to anyone else, it’d be known as stalking, and they should file a restraining order. It’s reasonable for photos to be taken when they are at a public event, but there’s a clear line between public and private that even paparazzi shouldn’t cross.