Intimate pictures on your cellphone? Your risk

September 05, 2014, 3:45 PM GMT+0

People tend to say that it's the responsibility of cell phone owners to protect any embarrassing photos you've taken, while 4 in 10 young Americans have taken 'intimate' photos on their phone

Within the past week a cache of private photos of major celebrities have been released on the internet. The private photos of celebrities such as Jennifer Lawrence and Rihanna appear to have been stolen by hackers who exploited a vulnerability in Apple's iCloud system. This system is a storage system used by many iPhone owners which uploads photos taken to online storage, ensuring that their photos won't be lost if their phone is lost or stolen. As these celebrities have learned, however, it also allows anyone who can break into the account to have access to some of their most private moments.

The latest research from YouGov shows that 50% of Americans think that it is the responsibility of cell phone owners to protect embarrassing photos that they have taken on their phones. Only 4% think that cell phone providers should be exclusively responsible, while 43% say that both the owners and the providers are responsible for protecting sensitive photos or videos.

Asked whether they have ever taken 'an intimate photo' of themselves or someone else on a cell phone, 20% of Americans say that they have. There are major differences, however, with younger Americans being far more likely to have taken 'intimate' photos on a cell phone, with 39% of under-30s admitting to it, compared to only 10% of people aged 45-64 and 3% of over-65s. Nevertheless, most under-30s (55%) say that they haven't even taken an intimate photo of themselves or someone else.

There is a minor gender difference on the question of intimate photos, too. 23% of men say that they have taken intimate photos of themselves or another on a cell phone, compared to 17% of women.

Full poll results can be found here.

Image: Ariana Grande's Instagram