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ShareWithCare: Telekom raises awareness of responsible use of children's photos on the Internet

We like to share common experiences easily digitally. Pictures from vacations, family parties, school trips or weekend trips: emotional moments that we want to share with friends and family. This is often done carelessly. The problem: Once published on the Internet, the images, and often other personal data, are available worldwide and indefinitely.

Deepfake spot raises awareness of 'sharing' issue

With the campaign "ShareWithCare" wants Deutsche Telekom raise awareness about the responsible use of photos and data. The communication begins with the oppressive deepfake spot “A message from Ella”. With the help of a family, he addresses the consequences of sharing children's images on the Internet. Telekom draws attention to so-called "sharenting" - a much-criticized practice where parents share pictures, videos and details of their children's lives online.

The film stages and exaggerates a social experiment that could have happened exactly the same way - because the technology for it has long existed today. The image of a 9-year-old actress named "Ella" served as the basis for the case. Using the latest AI technology, a deepfake of the girl was created. Deepfakes are videos, images or sounds artificially generated by machine learning. In the video, you can see how the "adult Ella" turns to her surprised parents. She sends a warning from the future and confronts mom and dad with the consequences of sharing pictures of their children on the Internet. This is special: For the first time, they have a almost aged deepfake of a 9-year-old child created so that she can act and reason like a grown woman Ella represents a whole generation of children.

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ShareWithCare a grown woman Ella represents a whole generation of children.

"Sharenting" promotes identity theft

Every person, including a child, has the right to decide for themselves about their digital identity. But studies show that by the age of five, the average child has 1,500 pictures of themselves online – uploaded without their consent, by the people they trust most: their parents. And experts predict that by 2030, two-thirds of all identity theft cases will involve sharing. By recklessly sharing children's images online, guardians risk inadvertently exposing children to cyber profiling, hacking, facial recognition, pedophilia and other threats to privacy and security.

Digital competence is an integral part of digital participation

In order for all people to be able to participate in the digital world, it is essential that they can act safely, autonomously and fairly in the digital space. Digital competence is an integral part of digital participation. That is why Deutsche Telekom is committed to promoting digital competence with many international initiatives. Another important aspect is promoting media literacy among parents. This also includes handling images, information and data on social media. To support parents in protecting their children's privacy and minimizing digital risks, Telekom and its partners offer several offers:

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