The Profiler

Development of a Profiling Tool to Describe Persons Based on Acquisition and Content Based Analysis of Personal Online Images to Improve Media Competency of 10 to 15 year olds

Nowadays, nearly all 10 to 15 year olds have a digital camera on their mobile phone and regularly take images of themselves and others. More and more of these images are uploaded to the internet every day via social networks and cloud services. "Digital natives" have a skilful use of media but are often not aware of the chances, risks and responsibilities induced by the handling of personal data, leading to dangerous trends like "sexting" and "cybermobbing". Digital images – once published – can spread quickly over the internet and are nearly impossible to remove. Therefore, the consequences of these trends can be disastrous for the involved persons, but the students are often blind to the risks and lack a critical evaluation of their own behavior.

The objective of the profiler project was to demonstrate students how personal image data can be automatically linked and analysed with the help of computers. This was achieved by means of newest research results and innovations in the fields of computer science and youth research: images were collected from social networks and other internet resources and analysed by state-of-the-art methods for face recognition, age and gender estimation as well as affective image classification. By merging the different detected attributes, personal profiles were constructed and visualised. In addition to this technical part, qualitative and quantitative socio-scientific studies were conducted to investigate the internet users behaviour of the 10 to 15 year olds.

Due to the strong involvement and cooperation of the students with the research team as well as due to their hands-on experience with the developed profiler, the students were confronted with their self-disclosure in the internet and the possible consequences. They get to know what is technically possible and how image data can be massively analysed and processed nowadays. Hence, the awareness of the risks of publishing images in the internet and consequently their media literacy was increased. Besides, the project offered an unique opportunity to get in touch with researchers and participate in scientific work – in a topic that is of special interest for the students.

This project has been completed.