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Communications of the ACM


Ephemeral Data

Ephemeral Data, photo illustration

Privacy issues can evaporate when embarrassing content does likewise.

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CACM Administrator

The following letter was published in the Letters to the Editor of the January 2014 CACM (
-- CACM Administrator

Esther Shein's news item "Ephemeral Data" (Sept. 2013) said the ex-boyfriend of a woman in Florida had posted nude photos of her online and that the woman now wanted a law to "criminalize 'cyberstalking' " in Florida. I would like to point out this would be a waste of her time since Florida already has a cyberstalking law under state statute 784.048 subsection 1.d. Moreover, I do not see how enacting such a law has anything to do with being stalked in the first place since the legal definition of stalking involves (as defined by the Florida Legislature) " . . . willful, malicious harassment or following evinced by a course of conduct over a period of time, no matter how short, including any acts of credible threats to one's safety, the safety of those close to that person, or the safety of the person's family members."

Since the photos of the Florida woman allegedly exist, one can assume she consented to them being taken. If not, another Florida law comes into play concerning voyeurism. If the woman indeed consented to the photos, she should have thought about having them taken in the first place, since we all know relationships do not necessarily last forever. By the way, nude photos do not constitute porn.

Anthony Cunarro
Palm Beach, FL

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