Deepfakes have a dark side of AI and lawyers set to fight for the identity of people

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Deepfakes, which first emerged in 2019 with fake videos where Meta’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg and former US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were features. The new 21st-century photoshopping alternative which create videos and images of celebrities (mostly women in today’s time) with the help of an artificial intelligence (AI) tool which is called deep learning.

If you have seen Barack Obama former US President calling Donald Trump a “complete dipshit”, or if you have seen Mark Zuckerberg having “total control of billions of people’s stolen data” – then you do know how the deepfake works. More such videos which have a deepfake video surfaced of the actress Rashmika Mandana which went viral on social media.

As per the experts, the prevalence of deepfakes AI-generated videos or audio recordings certainly is compelling. Over a period of time, we witnessed a notable increase in the use of deepfake videos in the recent times.

As per Sonit Jain, CEO of GajShield Infotech, the surge could be attributed to the growing accessibility of deep fake technology and its use in various domains.

Jain also told IANS, “Deepfakes have found utility in entertainment, political manipulation, and even fraudulent activities. Data protection and privacy laws should be strengthened to limit the collection and use of personal data for deepfake creation without explicit consent.”

Deepfakes AI tool could be used for phishing attacks, convincing employees to take actions which compromise security.

Abhishek Malhotra, Managing Partner at TMT Law Practice, further said that tech advancement does come with a dark side, and unfortunately, this time, the impact is really unlikely.

Malhotra further said, “Similar experiences were faced by actor Anil Kapoor, and he rightly approached the court of law for resolution. As would be logical in such situations, the court upheld the personal rights of the actor and recognised his right to prevent the abuse and misuse of his reputation and goodwill.”

In September (2023), the Delhi High Court further issued an interim order to protect the personality rights of Anil Kapoor (actor) and further restrained various entities from misusing his image, voice, name or other elements of his personality for financial gain without his consent.

Anil Kapoor sought the protection of his personality rights, with the aim to prevent his identity from being used by unidentified individuals, which might violate his personality rights by using his name, the short form basically (acronym) ‘AK,’ or nicknames like ‘Lakhan,’ ‘Jhakaas,’ ‘Mr. India,’ ‘Majnu Bhai,’ along with his images and voice- for monetary gain without permission.

Abhishek Malhotra said, “This judgment can be taken as an indication of what regulations in this space can look like. Freedom of speech and expression can never be exercised at the cost of the reputation of others, nor by encroaching into the personal lives of people.”

For Rashmika Mandana’s Deepfake case which surfaced recently, a need for a legal and regulatory framework is a need in today’s time- for addressing deepfakes in the country. It certainly will emphasize the importance of preserving the dignity of a personality and curbing the misuse of AI tools for portraying public figures in fictional scenarios.

Deepfake technology has posed a significant threat to privacy concerns and over individual rights of public figures. This AI-driven technology can be weaponized by creating deceptive content which poses a threat to national security. It could be used to create forged videos of politicians or leaders, manipulate public sentiment and potentially build chaos or conflicts, as per the experts.

Inputs from IANS

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