China has introduced new rules to regulate the use of deepfakes in the country. Deepfakes are basically realistic digital media manipulations, with sometimes unsettling realism. The technology allows users to crop out a person’s face from a video and swap it with someone’s face or also add someone else’s voice.
Last month, the Chinese authorities said that the technology “also be utilized by dishonest persons to broadcast illicit information…defame and sully the reputation of others, and steal identities in order to conduct fraud,” and if deepfakes are not regulated, they pose a “threat to national security and societal stability,” as per reports.
The new legislation requires businesses providing deepfake services, to collect the genuine identities of their customers. The deepfake content also needs to be properly labeled by adding a watermark to avoid creating “any confusion” on the side of the audience.
The new rules outlined in the “Regulations on the Administration of Deep Synthesis of Internet Information Services” came into effect on January 10, 2023. As per the new law, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) will require “deep synthesis service providers” to make sure that their AI algorithms are not being misused for illegal activities, like committing fraud, scams, or distributing false and harmful information.