In response to a viral deepfake video featuring popular actor Rashmika Mandanna, the Indian government has taken action by issuing a stern reminder to social media platforms highlighting the legal provisions governing such deepfakes and related penalties.
This development has raised considerable concerns about the use of artificial intelligence for disinformation.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology referred to Section 66D of the Information Technology Act 2000, which deals with “punishment for impersonation fraud using a computer resource”. The section provides that anyone found guilty of impersonation through communication devices or computer resources can face imprisonment of up to three years and a fine of up to one million rupees.
The need for this recommendation arose after a deeply fake video that faked Rashmika Mandanna entering an elevator went viral. It was subsequently revealed that the video featured British-Indian influencer Zara Patel, whose face had been manipulated using deepfake technology to resemble Mandanna.
The revelation raised concerns about the potential implications of such manipulated content, especially for public figures like Ms. Mandanna, who could find themselves embroiled in controversies stemming from edited visuals of their likeness.
Expressing her despair, Rashmika Mandanna described the deepfake video incident as “extremely terrifying” and expressed concern over the misuse of technology that puts individuals at risk. She acknowledged the vulnerability of people in today’s digital age due to the misuse of technology.
In response to the incident, several prominent figures in the film industry, including legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan, raised their voices and called for legal action to address the challenges posed by deepfake technology.
The Indian government’s reminder to social media platforms underscores the need for stricter regulation and vigilance in dealing with the spread of misinformation through deepfakes. As the public becomes increasingly aware of the risks associated with such technology, it is expected that measures will be taken to prevent the creation and dissemination of deeply false content and to protect individuals from potential harm.
Image Source: Sputnik India