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

We like to share common experiences digitally in an uncomplicated way. Pictures of holidays, family celebrations, school trips or weekend excursions: emotional moments that we want to share with friends and family. This often happens too carelessly. The problem: once published on the internet, the pictures and often other personal data are available worldwide and without limits.

Deepfake spot raises awareness of the issue of "sharenting"

With the "ShareWithCare" campaign, Deutsche Telekom wants to raise awareness for responsible handling of photos and data. The communication is kicked off with the oppressive deepfake spot "A Message from Ella". It uses the example of a family to show the consequences of sharing children's photos on the Internet. Telekom draws attention to so-called "sharenting" - a much-criticized practice in which parents share photos, videos, and details of their children's lives online.

The film stages and exaggerates a social experiment that could have taken place in the same form - because the technology for it has long been available today. The image of a 9-year-old actress, called "Ella", served as the basis for the case. With the help of the latest AI technology, a deepfake of the girl was created. Deepfakes are videos, images, or even sounds artificially generated by machine learning. In the video, you can see how the "grown-up Ella" turns to her surprised parents. She sends a warning from the future and confronts mother and father with the consequences of sharing pictures of their children on the internet. The special feature: For the first time, a virtually aged deepfake of a 9-year-old child has been created so that she can act and argue like an adult woman. Ella is representative of an entire generation of children.


"Telekom offers the best and most secure network," says Uli Klenke, Chief Brand Officer at Deutsche Telekom. "But in addition to access to this network, we also need the necessary knowledge and tools for safe and responsible handling of data on the Internet. Because the development of artificial intelligence holds opportunities and risks. In the spot, we let the AI warn us about itself. And thus, underline fascination and awe at the same time. We have to learn to deal with both factors appropriately."

"Sharenting" promotes identity theft

Every person, including a child, has the right to make their own decisions 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 those they trust most: their parents. And experts predict that by 2030, two-thirds of all identity theft cases will involve sharing (source: The New Yorker). By carelessly sharing children's images online, guardians’ risk unintentionally exposing children to profiling by data brokers, hacking, facial recognition, pedophilia and other threats to privacy and security.

Digital literacy is an integral part of digital participation

For all people to participate in the digital world, it is essential that they can act safely, empowered and fairly in the digital space. Digital skills are an integral part of digital participation. That is why Deutsche Telekom is committed to promoting digital skills through numerous international initiatives. Another important aspect is the promotion of media skills among parents. This includes dealing with photos, information, and data in social media. To help parents protect their children's privacy and minimize digital risks, Deutsche Telekom and its partners provide numerous offers.

  • With the Teachtoday initiative, Deutsche Telekom is committed to promoting safe and competent media use and supports children & young people, parents & grandparents and educational professionals with practical and everyday tips and materials from the Teachtoday Toolbox.
  • The children's magazine SCROLLER is aimed directly at children and teaches responsible use of digital media from the very beginning.
  • In the guidebook "Digitally secure", Telekom Security GmbH passes on its expertise in data protection and data security to customers and interested parties. The site raises awareness of risks on the Internet and gives concrete tips on how to counter them by means of central basic rules and everyday tips.
  • With the DsiN Digital Driving Licence (DiFü), the initiative "Germany Safe on the Net" offers a further education and certification program that is recognized throughout Germany. It enables people of all ages to learn digital usage and security skills and thus to confidently use digital services in both private and professional contexts.

Deutschland sicher im Netz e.V. (DsiN) is committed to safe and confident use of the digital world. With the Digitalführerschein (DiFü), DsiN offers a nationally recognised training and certification programme.

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