China’s deepfake laws come into effect today

China will begin enforcing its strict new rules around the creation of deepfakes from today.

Deepfakes are increasingly being used for manipulation and humiliation. We’ve seen deepfakes of figures like disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried to commit fraud, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to spread disinformation, and US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to make her appear drunk.

Last month, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) announced rules to clampdown on deepfakes.

“In recent years, in-depth synthetic technology has developed rapidly. While serving user needs and improving user experiences, it has also been used by some criminals to produce, copy, publish, and disseminate illegal and bad information, defame, detract from the reputation and honour of others, and counterfeit others,” explains the CAC.

Providers of services for creating synthetic content will be obligated to ensure their AIs aren’t misused for illegal and/or harmful purposes. Furthermore, any content that was created using an AI must be clearly labelled with a watermark.

China’s new rules come into force today (10 January 2023) and will also require synthetic service providers to:

  • Not illegally process personal information
  • Periodically review, evaluate, and verify algorithms
  • Establish management systems and technical safeguards
  • Authenticate users with real identity information
  • Establish mechanisms for complaints and reporting

The CAC notes that effective governance of synthetic technologies is a multi-entity effort that will require the participation of government, enterprises, and citizens. Such participation, the CAC says, will promote the legal and responsible use of deep synthetic technologies while minimising the associated risks.

(Photo by Henry Chen on Unsplash)

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