News Stay informed about the latest enterprise technology news and product updates.

What does the hack of the celebrity nude selfies mean for CIOs?

What is there for CIOs to learn from the hack of the celebrity nude selfies and the global exposure of these private naked images? I wish I knew. In this week’s Searchlight news roundup, Associate Site Editor Francesca Sales interviews one business expert who advises CIOs and their companies to strike while public outrage is high (if not universal). They should use this media moment to shake up a cloud culture that puts expediency before data security.

That means putting pressure on Apple and other cloud companies to do a better job of protecting customer data. “It will take companies, especially the bigger ones that have large purchasing power, to say, ‘If you don’t get this fixed, we will not use your products and services,'” Kevin Paul Scott told Sales. Who knows? The ugly publicity around this ugly event might actually put some teeth into the threat of a boycott.

The celebrity nude selfie hack also offers CIOs a not-to-be-squandered opportunity to sell employees on the value of information security, Scott said. “When you’re casting vision internally,” he advises, “you have to connect things that you’re asking employees to do with something bigger.” (What could be bigger than, oh never mind.) The incident is without question an object lesson in the value of making up better passwords. And, now it’s not just the old CI-“No” saying so but the likes of Jennifer Lawrence wishing so. Data privacy takes vigilance in the digital age. Between the data we generate and the eyes this data is intended for is the world wide web. That goes for both intimate photos and sensitive corporate data.

Infonomics

So there you have two teachable moments to come out of this online exploitation. Heck, I’d suggest there’s even a third corporate campaign worth waging. If the multi-million dollar business of stealing, trading and selling intimate celebrity digital images tells us nothing else, it’s that certain kinds of digital information are extremely valuable — e.g. images of the beautiful bodies of famous females. It is the responsibility of CIOs and the other chiefs in charge — and their boards of directors — to make it explicit to their employees which types of corporate information are extremely valuable (or embarrassing if leaked), as well as to take the time to spell out the precautions required to protect that information. (Read our stories on the fledgling field of Infonomics — the economics of information — here and here for more on valuing information.)

Virtual reality

To be honest, however, I suspect the significance of this high profile breach for CIOs and for their businesses may turn out to be less about “cloud culture” than it is about culture, period. In particular, the incident indicates the complex relationship a younger demographic, my adult children included, has with technology — a nuanced relationship that most of us non-digital natives can’t begin to understand.

The actors involved in this high-profile breach point up just how confusing and mysterious this relationship is. They understand of course that their physical embodiment is a big part of their worth — a commodity to be showcased in performances, exhibited on Red Carpets, used in ads to push products. Professionals who make a living by how they look know that the minute people stop looking at them their careers are over.  But why spend your off time capturing even more images of yourself?

Perhaps for them, the physical and digital commodity exhibited in public — sometimes completely naked — is a public self that is less about them as a person than the private self exposed in the virtual images they choose to capture by their phones. And if so, is that true for all the people in this age demographic who take intimate  virtual selfies and also store intimate details of their views and life  histories in the cloud?

As I said, I wish I knew how to parse this new technology-driven public/private divide. And I’m betting the oldsters running companies these days wish they knew too.

Email  me at Linda Tucci, executive editor, SearchCIO, or find me on Twitter at @ltucci.

Join the conversation

41 comments

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

I'm waiting for MS Ofiice 2013 It looks awsome.
Cancel
I will upgrade, the new features for OneNote look good.
Cancel
Your poll didn't give the option of 2012. I've been rolling it out for the past week.
Cancel
Social networking tools are unnecessary for Office - facebook, twitter, etc. should be separate from office work as they are completely unrelated.
Cancel
Wish it were available right now
Cancel
ASAP!
Cancel
I want the latest, so nearly the day they release it I will upgrade. It'll look nice on my Windows 8 PC!
Cancel
have to upgrade everything else first (have Windows XP system) before I can use it.
Cancel
I would have liked to see it ready with Windows8. Disappointed its not out for retail yet.
Cancel
we are waiting for new features in 2013.
Cancel
love MO2013
Cancel
We are in the process of migrating to WIN 7 with Office 2010 so I do not expect to see a 2013 upgrade soon. Maybe after 2014
Cancel
There may not be enough change to warrant an upgrade
Cancel
for personal use and most likely at the office.
Cancel
I upgraded to Office 2013 today. It's available now to Microsoft Software Assurance customers. It took some work to gain access to it from our IT team, but ultimately they were able to provide me access to the install media.
Cancel
I'm waiting for greatest office
Cancel
Can't wait!
Cancel
already on preview.
very glad!
Cancel
Not worth the price and 2010 works well. It costs more for the package than their OS
Cancel
asap
Cancel
Some features of Outlook are worth the upgrade all by themselves
Cancel
we s tirecently upgraded to 2010 so will not like to invest till 2015
Cancel
May be early next year, 2013
Cancel
Integration of W8 with Office 2013 is the reason
Cancel
It is about time that Microsoft moves in the direction of One Application yet all features inclusive. Thus Windows 8 with Office Built-In, hopefully it shall happen with Windows 9 due in 2014! A Server within a Windows will also be advantageous...merely the point of Control.
Cancel
Microsoft is past its prime. We moved our entire enterprise to Google Docs this year and have weened ourselves off expensive and inefficient MS products (server software, office, etc). Like any transition, there is a learning curve to some degree, but now that we've done it, it has been well worth it. Benefits: Cost, Accessibility of Data, Collaboration, Continual Enhancements (vs MS big bang strategy every two years).
Cancel
will upgrade when mainstream support ends in 2015
Cancel
We run Office 2007 up to now and some people are waiting for 2010 features, so we will probably do the upgrade in 2013 but not earlier than Q3 or Q4. We also evaluate Office 365, maybe this will also influence migration considerations in some way we not know now.
Cancel
We will be pushing SharePoint out starting in January2012 and plan to follow that with Office 2013 around Mid-Year...
Cancel
My university provides it for free, so I'll be getting at as soon as I can.
Cancel
I cannot be upgrading to Office 2010 now and expected to upgrade to 2013 again.
Cancel
Office 2013 will be delivered to those needing a 64 bit version of Office in 2013. With the release of SP1 in 2014, probably will package and distribute in closely afte that. IF we can successfully grapple with the SECURTITY and PRODUCTIVITY concerns.
Cancel
The software has a nice soft touch, though very much like office 2010 I get the sense that the improvements is a step in the right direction.
Cancel
Everyone loves to hate Microsoft, but these guys changed the game forever, and have substance that make Apple look like the fruit it is.
Cancel
already have upgraded
Cancel
Sure it may not be a big thing for large business but for the individual it might be a nice change. Especially with all the new features office 2013 offers which will increase productivity. Add to that ARM support making office 2013 a great all rounder when it comes to home and small business uses.
Cancel
I love updates!
Cancel
I want to change from office 2007 to office 2013
Cancel
Need to Upgrade to full product
Cancel
Sooner the better for me. Just updated to Windows 8 and my Outlook is already experiencing problems.
Cancel
The move to Office 2010 wasn't critical to our business
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

SearchCompliance

SearchHealthIT

SearchCloudComputing

SearchMobileComputing

SearchDataCenter

Close