Deepfakes targeting your kids

“Sharenting” and what can happen when scammers use AI against children
Online deep fakes targeting your kids and teens
Published: Sep. 22, 2023 at 8:21 PM MST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) -13 News Fact Finders told you about a letter sent to Congress by Attorneys general from all 50 states, including Arizona. Attorney General Kris Mayes and her cohort want lawmakers to reign in a new use of artificial intelligence that targets children.

Action may be coming soon from both social media companies and the government. In the meantime, there are things parents can do to protect children.

You’ve probably heard the term ‘sharenting’ making the rounds. It’s when parents, caregivers, and relatives post a lot of content about the children in their lives. And scammers love the opportunity that it gives them to generate child pornography using photos of real kids posted by those who love them.

So, the first step to protecting your kids from this is to understand how anything you and your children post can be misused.

“If we are posting too much, we already run a huge risk right now,” said Subodha Kumar, the founder and director of the Center for Business Analytics and Disruptive Technologies at Temple University. “So until things settle down and we have a good way to deal with this problem, it’s not a bad idea to maybe completely stop it or really control it.”

Kumar was just in a high level meeting with leaders, officials, community groups, and social media companies. He says most support extending the existing legal restrictions to include more transparency and accountability. He believes we could see that very soon.

In the meantime, Deepfakes are getting so good it’s getting harder every day to tell real images from doctored ones.

When fakers manipulate a picture of your child, they can circulate it or post it to child pornography hubs. It happens a lot now, twice as much as it did just last year.

The creators can use the deepfake to get a victim to do what they want. So, kids are more likely to face identity theft, extortion, and digital kidnapping, where a stranger steals photos in order to pose as the child’s parent.

Once you upload content of your child, you lose control over its subsequent use - even if it’s deleted.

So what can you do NOW?

  1. Remove metadata from files - the time, date, geotag that pinpoints your location. Turn off geotagging on your camera settings.
  2. Enable strict privacy settings and use a parental control app
  3. Consult your child before you post (most experts recommend by age five)
  4. Don’t share their name

Social media is a big part of how we communicate, so minimizing how much you share is a personal decision, but having all the information is important.