Celebrity Nude Photos and Your Digital Footprint

I’ve been reading on Facebook and in the media a lot of different comments and perspectives about the recent leaked celebrity nude photos. The discussion quickly changed from “Exciting Celebrity News Pics” to a dialogue about sexism and violation of privacy.

Here is the thing.

No content that you create digitally is ever safe. Period.

This is called your digital footprint – it is all of the digital content about you (whether you create it or somebody else does).

I speak a lot to college students about social media, and we’ve all heard the mantra “nothing you post on Facebook is ever really private – no matter how you handle your privacy settings”. We tell people “assume that everything you post is public” as a guiding principle for social media participation — on Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, everywhere.

Yet really the warning should extend to any digital content that you choose to create about yourself – drugs, drinking, partying or naked pics.

Any of these things can come back to haunt you – regardless of how careful you are.

Should people violate your privacy?

Of course not.

Did the celebrities with nude photos deserve to have their privacy violated?


Should you be careful of the digital content that you choose to create?


Should you consider that at some point, maliciously or otherwise your digital content could find its way online?


Many business professionals that I know are very careful about the situations that they allow themselves to be photographed in.

The bottom line is: always consider your digital footprint. Every piece of digital content you create could somehow, sometime, be found. Be aware of that whenever you capture digital content or post anything digitally.

I don’t care if you take naked pictures (I’m not your mother). Just be aware of the possibilities.

Think of this the next time you take a digital (or non-digital photo).

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