Too much trust in the privacy of our own phones

Emma Watson has joined a long line of celebrities to experience the shattering blow of hacking. While her spokesman claims the stolen photos weren't naked selfies, their theft provides another stark warning of the cost of naivety when it comes to our images.

The story has prompted reruns of the intransigent debate surrounding past scandals.

On the one hand we have the league of crusty old dads, spluttering that we should all just jolly well keep our kit on; on the other, bright-eyed millennials fiercely contending that we should be able to do what we want in the privacy of our own phones. 

The nude form is as alluring now as it was in the days of Botticelli. The difference is that the ubiquity of the smartphone has allowed just about anyone to capture it.

In a survey of its readers, Cosmopolitan found that nine in 10 had taken naked selfies; 82 per cent of whom would gladly do so again. 

With the smartphone becoming so integral to the way we conduct ourselves in every facet of our lives, it should come as no surprise that it has also knitted its way into the most intimate parts.

But what does baffle is the unquestioning trust so many of us place in our little pocket devices.

One tech consultancy has suggested that thieves could correctly guess more than 25 per cent of Pin codes within 20 tries. 

Let me be clear: the people who hack phones or their cloud-based backups to leak an individual's intimate photos are a special distillation of vile.

At the same time, we cannot continue naively to view the block of metal we carry around with us as an inviolable private sanctuary. It would be great if we could live in a world where accidentally leaving a bike unsecured didn't result in it being stolen.

The fact is, however, that we don't. 

Telegraph, London