Posts Tagged ‘Eduserv’
Putting children first: a design pattern for parents and guardians who publish online images of their children
Please, no more photos…, by Paula FJ
This pattern highlights the tension between personal online identity authoring and the responsibility we have towards others when their identity is enmeshed with ours. Specifically, how parents and guardians mitigate the risks associated with publishing online images of their children and the resulting contribution they make to a child’s digital identity.
Margarita Pérez García, Steven Warburton, Phil Archer, Josie Fraser, Sally Griffin, Jim Hensman, Mark Kramer, Finbar Mulholland, Leon Cych, Jonathan Poole, Mira Vogel, Yishay Mor. *Please ensure that the full development history remains with this pattern so that all authors are acknowledged.
Photographs have an important place in presenting, reflecting and understanding our identities, and in preserving our memories. The ease of capturing digital images combined with the proliferation of social sites and services for publishing them online make it is simple to share such content publicly on the Internet.
Parents and guardians who create an online identity that includes images and text about their children inevitably contribute to their children’s online presence. Parents and guardians can unknowingly participate in the construction of the digital identity of dependents who subsequently have little control over how they are presented or who they are presented to.
Whatever the reasons or justifications for the online publication of these images, the problem remains. An online picture of a child that is posted on the Internet contributes and/or interferes with that child’s online identity before they understand the implications and are able to build and manage their own digital identity. At worst these images can present a series of risks that need to be mitigated:
- Potential for abuse – this can be via cutting and pasting images, editing images or changing the context within which an image is viewed.
- Access to personal information – images can be used within flaming, stalking and cyber-bullying type behaviours.
- Identity theft – too much personal information can accidentally be made visible and lead to identities being stolen.
- Attraction of unsolicited communication – this could be to a parent or child represented in a given image via the online service in which the image resides, but this could also translate into tracing a person in the real-world if geotags (geographical identification metadata usually consisting of latitude and longitude coordinates) have been used.
- Misinterpretation – information may be inappropriately represented, errors amplified and false conclusions drawn, for example when images are taken out of their original context and aggregated into pornographic collections.
- Interference – images that persist over time have the potential to affect their adult life for good or ill. The created identity can interfere with the identity the children create for themselves in the future that will evolve over time as they play with their identity.
- Potential embarrassment of children in the short, medium and long term.
Here a diagram of the interoperability scenario for the CV builder plugin for WordPress developed in the field of The Rhizome Project.
Using the plugin to create CVs is a simple 3 steps process: create a Master CV, customise Views and Export them!
- Once plugged to WordPress, the user can store his data in a single XML file that acts as a vault for personal and professional information: this is the Master CV. The user can create one storage file or Master CV per language, in all official languages of the European Union.
- With the data contained in the Master CV, the user can create as many customised Views he needs. At least three structured formats are provided: short profile, Europass CV and HR-XML. The user can also take advantage of customisation functionalities in terms of display of information and integration on media to create free form CVs.
- For each View, a range of Export possibilities exist: ODT, PDF, HTML, XHTML and XML. Online publishing can also be password protected.
During the Eduserv workshop on digital identity pattern design, at the British Library, we have been invited by Yishay Mor and Steven Warburton to warm up and socialize before team work by doing a sketching exercise, called ‘Faces of identity’. (For more on patterns see the JISC funded project: Planet – Pattern Language Network for Web 2.0 Learning)
They gave us three head outlines to draw three different representations of our identity. Then we had to turn them to our group and present them, answering the questions: ‘Of these three identities you have drawn, which do you make visible online online and why?’. And also, ‘which you do not make visible and why?’
This last question drove us to a space where each of us unveiled some aspects of the hidden rhetoric of our digital selves. We then shared our experience about online identity management: swearing versus non swearing spaces, consistence of icons and gravatars, negation of some aspects of our life that we feel may impact our public presence, including our ‘employability factor’ or aspects from our personal life that interfere with our professional life.
Soon we all found that we had a face of our identity, mainly built in relation with others, that was hidden or somehow protected by some reason, say, safety. Many stories came together in this exercise: Josie negating her motherhood identity for job search purposes, Phil protecting his children by never putting their image or their names online, Sally questioning herself about how their children may contribute to her online identity, and me controlling social interaction to some of the public images of my children.
I really enjoyed very much this session and felt that we were a highly productive team. We produced the Putting others first pattern. For this very reason I want to tell who these people are. And I hope I will have, in the future, the opportunity to work with them again.
5 people worked during the morning session presenting their stories, linking them, finding similarities and identifying the problem space. These were (from left to right in the drawing by Maisie Platts)
A pity that the patterns repository doesn’t give ownership to the entire group. However, if someone has to be held responsible for the words on the paper, then let’s say that Phil Archer was responsible for this!