With 2020 and the onset of a new decade, there has been a dramatic shift in the professional working paradigm. With more people working from home, video meetings, virtual discussion rooms and other AI tools becoming the norm, technology is connecting us across oceans and continents. Yet, with ‘great power comes great responsibility’ and with ‘the great power of digital connection comes increasing impersonality.’

As the adage goes ‘First impressions are the best impressions’, now is the perfect time to make a lasting and valuable first impression with your profile photos.

Here are a few areas where the profile picture can offer some much-needed help:

Less anonymity and more engagement

As humans, we’re visual beings - ‘A picture speaks louder than a thousand words’. So using profile photos eliminate anonymity and add the much needed humanistic touch to exchanges that could seem cold. With profile photos, you feel like you’re interacting with a real human.

And you tend to respond better and remember these interactions rather than those with a faceless nobody.

This is especially important right now as a large number of us are working remotely, and digital interactions are the sole means of communication.

Builds a sense of community

With profile photos, employees can get acquainted with peers outside of their immediate team, department, and office location. There’s no doubt that we’re all caught up in the events of our immediate colleagues and have no interaction with those beyond that.

In the digital workplace, profile photos contribute to employees better understanding and communicating with each other.

Acts as your digital brand

Inside your organization, your profile photo acts as your digital brand. If your aim is to get recognized within the company, a profile photo is a way to go.

Let alone an employee, even as a manager, there may be times where you need to applaud or celebrate an employee. Imagine not having access to a single photo of them or if their profile photo is that of their pets or them at a party?

As you search the depths of your file, you may come across a photo that aren’t sure you can even use. Why go through this hassle? With every employee having a professional profile photo, this worry no longer exists.

Despite these benefits, it’s shocking to see the number of people who don’t utilize this opportunity.

Results from Hyperfish study showed that in organizations with over 10,000 employees, about 97% don’t have a professional-looking profile picture.

Seems unbelievable, doesn’t it?

Little do people realize the significance of profile photos and their ability to contribute to a better and more interactive digital workspace environment. So to make it easier for organizations, Microsoft’s Computer Vision API offers state-of-the-art algorithms to process images and return information. For instance, you can use it to determine if an image contains mature content, whether it’s a group photo, an image of their pet or much more.

In this article, I have included a script that uses Azure Cognitive Service API and Microsoft 365 CLI to analyze user profile pictures and assess whether they meet the standards placed by the organization.

This script can be customized to ban content within an org channel or collaboration network where employees post pictures, memes, etc.


Note: If you don’t already have an Azure Cognitive Services instance and key, create a cognitive service instance and get API key from there.

I would like to thank Hugo Bernier, for the sample SharePoint Framework WebPart.

PowerShell Script

$resultDir = "Output"
$azureVisionApiInstance = "azure-vision-api-instance-name"
$azureVisionApiKey = "azure-vision-api-key"

$photoRequirements = @{
    requirePortrait   = $false
    allowClipart      = $true
    allowLinedrawing  = $true
    allowAdult        = $false
    allowRacy         = $false
    allowGory         = $false
    photoRequirements = @{
        requirePortrait   = $false
        allowClipart      = $true
        allowLinedrawing  = $true
        allowAdult        = $false
        allowRacy         = $false
        allowGory         = $false
        forbiddenKeywords = @("cartoon", `
                "animal", `
                "nude", `
                "child", `
                "people", `
                "group", `
                "family", `
                "several", `
                "crowd", `
                "food", `
                "restaurant", `
                "train", `
                "bus", `
                "car", `
                "airplane", `
                "vehicle", `
                "platform", `
                "station", `
                "standing", `
                "flying", `
                "suitcase", `
                "screenshot", `
                "newspaper", `
                "typography", `
                "font", `
                "document", `

$requiredProfileProperties = "id,displayName,userPrincipalName"
$global:analysisOutcomes = @()

$executionDir = $PSScriptRoot
$outputDir = "$executionDir/$resultDir"
$outputFilePath = "$outputDir/$(get-date -f yyyyMMdd-HHmmss)-scan-profile-pictures-outcome.csv"

if (-not (Test-Path -Path "$outputDir" -PathType Container)) {
    New-Item -ItemType Directory -Path "$outputDir"
    Write-Host "Created $outputDir folder..."
function AddAnalysisOutcome {
    param (
        [Parameter(Mandatory = $false)] [string] $UserId,
        [Parameter(Mandatory = $false)] [string] $UserPrincipalName,
        [Parameter(Mandatory = $false)] [bool] $IsPortraitValid,
        [Parameter(Mandatory = $false)] [bool] $IsOnlyOnePersonValid,
        [Parameter(Mandatory = $false)] [bool] $IsClipartValid,
        [Parameter(Mandatory = $false)] [bool] $IsLineDrawingValid,
        [Parameter(Mandatory = $false)] [bool] $IsAdultValid,
        [Parameter(Mandatory = $false)] [bool] $IsRacyValid,
        [Parameter(Mandatory = $false)] [bool] $IsGoryValid,
        [Parameter(Mandatory = $false)] [bool] $IsCelebrity,
        [Parameter(Mandatory = $false)] [bool] $IsForbiddenKeywordExist,
        [Parameter(Mandatory = $false)] [bool] $IsValidProfilePhoto,
        [Parameter(Mandatory = $false)] [string] $Notes

    $analysisOutcome = New-Object -TypeName PSObject

    $analysisOutcome | Add-Member -MemberType NoteProperty -Name "UserId" -Value $UserId
    $analysisOutcome | Add-Member -MemberType NoteProperty -Name "UserPrincipalName" -Value $UserPrincipalName
    $analysisOutcome | Add-Member -MemberType NoteProperty -Name "IsPortraitValid" -Value $IsPortraitValid
    $analysisOutcome | Add-Member -MemberType NoteProperty -Name "IsOnlyOnePersonValid" -Value $IsOnlyOnePersonValid
    $analysisOutcome | Add-Member -MemberType NoteProperty -Name "IsClipartValid" -Value $IsClipartValid
    $analysisOutcome | Add-Member -MemberType NoteProperty -Name "IsLineDrawingValid" -Value $IsLineDrawingValid
    $analysisOutcome | Add-Member -MemberType NoteProperty -Name "IsAdultValid" -Value $IsAdultValid
    $analysisOutcome | Add-Member -MemberType NoteProperty -Name "IsRacyValid" -Value $IsRacyValid
    $analysisOutcome | Add-Member -MemberType NoteProperty -Name "IsGoryValid" -Value $IsGoryValid
    $analysisOutcome | Add-Member -MemberType NoteProperty -Name "IsCelebrity" -Value $IsCelebrity
    $analysisOutcome | Add-Member -MemberType NoteProperty -Name "IsForbiddenKeywordExist" -Value $IsForbiddenKeywordExist
    $analysisOutcome | Add-Member -MemberType NoteProperty -Name "IsValidProfilePhoto" -Value $IsValidProfilePhoto
    $analysisOutcome | Add-Member -MemberType NoteProperty -Name "Notes" -Value $Notes

    $global:analysisOutcomes += $analysisOutcome

$users = m365 aad user list --properties $requiredProfileProperties -o json | ConvertFrom-Json -AsHashtable
$usersCount = $users.Count
Write-Host "Number of users found : $usersCount"

try {
    $token = m365 util accesstoken get --resource https://graph.microsoft.com --new

    $i = 0

    for ($i = 0; $i -lt $usersCount; $i++) {
        try {
            $userId = $users[$i].id
            $userPrincipalName = $users[$i].userPrincipalName

            $percentComplete = ($i / $usersCount) * 100
            Write-Progress -Activity "Analysing" -Status "User : $userId - $userPrincipalName" -PercentComplete $percentComplete

            try {
                $headers = New-Object "System.Collections.Generic.Dictionary[[String],[String]]"
                $headers.Add("Content-Type", "image/jpg")
                $headers.Add("Authorization", "Bearer $token")
                $userPhoto = (Invoke-RestMethod -Uri "https://graph.microsoft.com/v1.0/users/$userId/photo/`$value" -Headers $headers)

                if ($userPhoto) {
                    try {
                        $headers = New-Object "System.Collections.Generic.Dictionary[[String],[String]]"
                        $headers.Add("Content-Type", "application/json")
                        $headers.Add("Ocp-Apim-Subscription-Key", $azureVisionApiKey)

                        $analysis = (Invoke-RestMethod -Uri ("https://$azureVisionApiInstance.cognitiveservices.azure.com/vision/v3.1/analyze?visualFeatures=Categories,Adult,Tags,Description,Faces,Color,ImageType,Objects&details=Celebrities&language=en") `
                                -Headers $headers `
                                -Body ($userPhoto) `
                                -ContentType "application/octet-stream" `
                                -Method "Post");

                        if ($analysis) {
                            $analysisData = $analysis | ConvertFrom-Json -AsHashtable
                            $isPortrait = $analysisData.categories.Length -gt 0 ? ($analysisData.categories | Where-Object { $_.name -eq 'people_portrait' }).Length -gt 0  ? $true : $false : $false
                            $isPortraitValid = $photoRequirements.requirePortrait ? $isPortrait : $true
                            $isOnlyOnePersonValid = $analysisData.faces.Length -eq 1 ? $true : $false
                            $isClipartValid = $analysisData.imageType.clipArtType -eq 0 ? $true : $false
                            $isLineDrawingValid = $analysisData.imageType.lineDrawingType -eq 0 ? $true : $false
                            $isAdultValid = $photoRequirements.allowAdult ? $true : !$analysisData.adult.isAdultContent
                            $isRacyValid = $photoRequirements.allowRacy ? $true : !$analysisData.adult.isRacyContent
                            $isGoryValid = $photoRequirements.allowGory ? $true : !$analysisData.adult.isGoryContent
                            $isCelebrity = ($analysisData.categories | Where-Object { $_.detail.celebrities.Length -gt 0 }).Length -gt 0 ? $true : $false

                            $invalidKeywords = @()

                            foreach ($forbiddenKeyword in $photoRequirements.forbiddenKeywords) {
                                $isForbiddenKeywordExist = ($analysisData.tags | Where-Object { $_.name -eq $forbiddenKeyword }).Length -gt 0 ? $true : $false

                                if ($isForbiddenKeywordExist) {
                                    $invalidKeyword = New-Object -TypeName PSObject
                                    $invalidKeyword | Add-Member -MemberType NoteProperty -Name forbiddenKeyword -Value $forbiddenKeyword
                                    $invalidKeywords += $invalidKeyword

                            $isForbiddenKeywordExist = $invalidKeywords.Length -gt 0 ? $true : $false

                            $isValidProfilePhoto = $isPortraitValid `
                                -and $isOnlyOnePersonValid `
                                -and $isClipartValid  `
                                -and $isLineDrawingValid `
                                -and $isAdultValid `
                                -and $isRacyValid `
                                -and $isGoryValid `
                                -and !$isCelebrity `
                                -and !$isForbiddenKeywordExist;

                            AddAnalysisOutcome $userId `
                                $userPrincipalName `
                                $isPortraitValid `
                                $isOnlyOnePersonValid `
                                $isClipartValid `
                                $isLineDrawingValid `
                                $isAdultValid `
                                $isRacyValid `
                                $isGoryValid `
                                $isCelebrity `
                                $isForbiddenKeywordExist `
                                $isValidProfilePhoto `
                                "Profile photo available"
                    catch {
                        AddAnalysisOutcome $userId `
                            $userPrincipalName `
                            $false `
                            $false `
                            $false `
                            $false `
                            $false `
                            $false `
                            $false `
                            $false `
                            $false `
                            $false `
                            "Unable to analyze profile photo"
            catch {
                AddAnalysisOutcome $userId `
                    $userPrincipalName `
                    $false `
                    $false `
                    $false `
                    $false `
                    $false `
                    $false `
                    $false `
                    $false `
                    $false `
                    $false `
                    "Unable to get profile photo"
        catch {
            Write-Host "Unable to get profile details for this user" -ForegroundColor Red
catch {
    Write-Host "Unable to get new access token" -ForegroundColor Red

$global:analysisOutcomes | Export-Csv -Path "$outputFilePath" -NoTypeInformation
Write-Host "Open $outputFilePath to review analysis outcomes report."

Script Outcome

m365 user photo scan analysis outcome

There is no better time than the present to get your profile photo game on point. So, get working on it.