The disaster began on Thursday, when a user posted on the iCloud forum that their videos were corrupted and displaying black screens with scan lines. In some cases, videos are swapped for stills from outside the user’s own iCloud account. “I’ve been shown pictures of other people’s families that I’ve never seen in my life, soccer games and other random pictures,” the user wrote. “Obviously it’s very worrying and just doesn’t make me feel safe using iCloud.”
The user said they were able to replicate the issue on a total of three PCs, two of which run Windows 11 Pro and the other uses Windows 10 Pro. In just a few days, other users commented on the post to report similar problems. Their original photos — which they wanted to see in iCloud for Windows — were taken with the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro models and were similarly missing. In their place were photos of other people’s children as well as other innocuous things.
In a movie, this would be a big, masterful prank. But this is real life, and users are concerned about their safety and their families’. An innocent family photo or a snapshot of last night’s dinner isn’t going to change your life when it ends up on someone else’s screen, but the impact of iCloud for Windows is massive as users complain about redistributing files. It only takes one wrong personal photo to threaten someone’s personal or professional life; If this security flaw turns out to be true, Apple could face a nasty lawsuit next month.
This may be especially the case with Apple’s reported response to user concerns. A few people who shared their iCloud for Windows problems on MacRumors said they tried to reach out to Apple but were quickly dismissed. For a company to insist that its security is superior to that of its competitors, this does not bode well.