Deepfakes are becoming a huge problem. On October 3, California approved two new measures aimed at cutting deepfakes in response.
The first is to thwart deepfakes used for political purposes. AB-730 Elections: deceptive audio or visual media “will prohibit a person, committee, or other entity, within 60 days of an election at which a candidate for elective office will appear on the ballot, from distributing with actual malice materially deceptive audio or visual media of the candidate with the intent to injure the candidate’s reputation or to deceive a voter into voting for or against the candidate, unless the media includes a disclosure stating that the media has been manipulated.” It will extend to January 1, 2023.
The other is to disincent sexually explicit deepfake videos that can be used to tarnish reputations or for extortion. AB-602 Depiction of individual using digital or electronic technology: sexually explicit material: cause of action says that an individual can act againt a person who creates or intentionally discloses sexually explit material if that person did it intentionally without the subject’s consent.
What it means
Deepfakes are a likely vector for piracy, and its good to see that regulators are taking this situation seriously and dealing with it. California is often seen as a model for legislation by other states and at the federal level, and we hope that others follow suit quickly.