Will Nude Photo Uproar Hurt Apple Stock?

According to Movie News Guide and other sources, the FBI and Apple are investigating the Jennifer Lawrence nude photo leak.

Following the leakage of nude photos of high profile female celebrities such as Kate Upton, Jennifer Lawrence, Ariana Grande among others, [the] FBI along with Apple have conducted investigations to apprehend the individuals responsible for the heinous act.

So, if you have hiding in a cave in the Rocky Mountains for the last month you may not have heard about this and here is the story. Several female Hollywood movie stars including the female with the highest grossing action movies ever, Jennifer Lawrence, are upset. They apparently took nude photos selfies (photos of yourself taken by yourself with a digital camera or phone camera) and then saved the images in their supposedly secure folders in the Apple iCloud service. A hacker gained access to image folders of several of these women and published their nude photos on the internet! Many folks are wondering why so many young women trusted an online service with something so near and dear to them. We are wondering will the nude photo uproar hurt Apple stock. The issue is the security of lack thereof of the Apple iCloud and how perception of Apple not really caring will affect sales.

The iCloud, Apple and Security

The iCloud is a collection of computers linked to the internet. Users of this service can upload information for storage and retrieval. Such services are popular because they allow a user to store massive amounts of data including images and retrieve them from virtually any place on earth and at any time of the day. In order to use the service one simply needs to enter a username and password. Unlike most online services the iCloud service gave users unlimited attempts to do this without locking the service. Now, according to the Wall Street Journal Apple is going to add security alerts for iCloud users among other steps to deal with the nude photo hacking issue.

Apple Inc. AAPL -0.20% said it plans additional steps to keep hackers out of user accounts, but denied that a lax attitude toward security had allowed intruders to post nude photos of celebrities on the Internet.

The steps that Apple intends to take apparently include limiting the number of times that a hacker can try to test usernames and passwords to enter an account and notification of users when someone tries to enter their iCloud account.

Will Nude Photo Uproar Hurt Apple Stock?

Apple is a big and prosperous company. A simple visit to Apple Inc. – Wikipedia tells us that Apple sells lots of products and services and that if everyone who uses the iCloud simply quit the service it would probably not hurt the bottom line.

Apple Inc. is an American multinational corporation headquartered in Cupertino, California, that designs, develops, and sells consumer electronics, computer software, online services, and personal computers. Its best-known hardware products are the Mac line of computers, the iPod media player, the iPhone smartphone, and the iPad tablet computer. Its online services include iCloud, iTunes Store, and App Store. Its consumer software includes the OS X and iOS operating systems, the iTunes media browser, the Safari web browser, and the iLife and iWork creativity and productivity suites.

However, a comparison is valid here. For many years the computer tech world saw Microsoft as the bad guys who made defective products and whose products were thus frequently and justifiably attacked by hackers. Apple was seen as a good guy and usually not attacked. Now Apple is a big and prosperous company and could be seen as not really caring about the security concerns of its users. Will the nude photo uproar hurt Apple stock? If the likes of Jennifer Lawrence begin to star in commercials for competing products and services and the hacker world moves in mass to attack Apple products it could make a difference in the Apple bottom line.

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