Stefani Split Shows Dangers of Cross-Device Sharing of Naughty Photos

The racy nanny photos and steamy texts, which apparently broke up the celebrity marriage of "The Voice" star Gwen Stefani and husband Gavin Rossdale, weren't the work of a private investigator peeping through keyholes. The Cloud did it.

In this age of unstoppable over-sharing -- photos streaming, texts screaming and "the Cloud" raining it all down on us -- smartphones get considerably dumber in the hands of plugged-in people who forget that their devices are constantly talking to each other via Dropbox, Flickr, Instagram or Apple TV.

Cross-device text and photo streaming was the undoing of Stefani's cheatin' heartthrob, when naked pictures of the nanny began popping up on the family iPad, US magazine uncovered this week. Like a lot of families, they evidently linked their mobile devices together -- so a text or photo sent to one showed up on the others.

A lot of non-boldface names -- many of them right here in switched-on Silicon Valley -- have learned the same lesson the hard way. Apple customers frequently make their iCloud photo stream the default screen saver for Apple TV, transforming their selfies into 60-inch widescreen Ken Burns dissolves.

That's what happened to Alex (who responded to a Facebook request for cringeworthy cases of cross-device photo streaming, but declined to give his last name). He took revealing pictures intended for his "certain someone," then walked into the living room he shared with new roommates to find himself streaming in all his gaudy glory on the TV they were watching. "Let's just say it made for some awkward dinner hours for a while," he says.

Larry Magid, the syndicated tech columnist who is also president and CEO of, once allowed a visitor to use his home computer to check email. "Several hours later, I tried to use my gmail and found he was...

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