"My number isn't listed, but that doesn't mean someone can't call me if they can guess it, or brute-force my area code, or otherwise get the number from some other source."
So a little bit of keyboad exercise and I got his number and gave him a call, just to verify that the number that I had was really him. It was.
So in my idiotic analogy mode;
" your private photos are still private" = " My number isn't listed"
"xxx" = "doesn't mean someone can't call me if they can guess it"
So what does "xxx" represent - IMHO, thats it's not in private mode anymore when someone obtains's your images. Its like saying I an't listed nowhere, but if think you got me- try giving me call - seemed to be like a challenge ( me bad - sucker for challenges !!) .
Just because customer have put your trust in your application and your service's does not mean that the blackhater out there can't do the obvious. .. Andy Baio already said it best
"This is the kind of security hole that could ruin lives. Don and the SmugMug crew are clued-in guys, so hopefully, they'll realize the gravity of this situation and change it immediately."
However, I must say - Don did a remarkable job in his rebuttal post. The Smug Team were very professional and involved within the conversation,as it unfolded. Kudos' to them !!
Update#1: Don's challenge of "a chance to strike it rich: I’ll give $1,000 USD to anyone who can get a copy of this photo" . Both Tony and Philipp crack it. Don is on pin's and needle's.