top of page

"Sharenting" could open up deepfakes of children's photos

"Good Morning America" aired a report cautioning parents about sharing photos of their children online. An AI-generated video ad campaign Deutsche Telekom video may make many parents reconsider what information they share publicly about their children.

The video uses AI technology to virtually age a 9-year-old they call Ella, played by an actor, to illustrate how a child's digital footprint can potentially be misused to damage their lives.

"I know for you these pictures are just memories, but for others they are data," the AI-generated Ella tells the couple playing her parents in a staged social experiment. "And for me, maybe the beginning of a horrible future."

Ella's parents in the video, also played by actors, are described as often posting about her life online, sharing carefree moments unaware of the potential harm that it could cause her in the future.

While the video is fake, some experts say its cautionary message is very real.

"Once an image is shared online, it can be hard to control where it ends up," explained Dr. Rebecca Portnoff, director of data science at Thorn, a nonprofit that fights the spread of child sexual abuse online, in an interview with ABC News.

The campaign documents the various potential dangers of oversharing your children's data, from online bullying to identity theft to the creation of child sexual abuse material, or CSAM.

According to the report, "sharenting" is a term sometimes used to refer to parents sharing content about their children online. It's an easy and accessible way for parents to connect with each other, explained experts at Boston Children's Digital Wellness Lab who have studied the potential impacts of sharenting.

Those experts highlighted a Barclays Bank estimate that by 2030, 7.4 million incidents of identity fraud per year could be linked to parents oversharing personal information online.

As illustrated in the Deutsche Telekom campaign, generative AI is making it possible to create believable replicas of your child's likeness from voice to figure.

40 views0 comments


bottom of page