Sat, Jun
4 New Articles

Here's What Policymakers Can Do About Deepfakes, Right Now

Security News
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

Deepfakes – realistic AI-generated audio, video, or images that can recreate a person's likeness – are one of the most pressing challenges posed by generative AI, given the potential for bad actors to use it to undermine democracy, exploit artists and performers, and harass and harm everyday people.

By Christina Montgomery, Chief Privacy & Trust Officer, IBM and Joshua New, Senior Fellow, IBM Policy Lab

What this moment requires is both technical and legal solutions. That's why IBM signed the Tech Accord to Combat Deceptive Use of AI in 2024 Elections (Munich Tech Accord), pledging to help mitigate the risks of AI being used to deceive the public and undermine elections. It's also why IBM has long advocated for regulations that precisely target harmful applications of technology

We outline below three key priorities for policymakers to mitigate the harms of deepfakes:

  • Protecting elections,
  • Protecting creators, and
  • Protecting people's privacy

Protecting elections

Democracy depends on a population's ability to participate in free and fair elections. Unfortunately, bad actors can use deepfakes to impersonate public officials and candidates to deceive voters in a variety of ways that would undermine this key principle. For example, deepfakes could mislead voters about where, when, and how they can vote, or falsely portray a candidate making controversial statements or participating in scandalous activity.

Policymakers should prohibit the distribution of materially deceptive deepfake content related to elections. For example, the Protect Elections from Deceptive AI Act, introduced by Senators Klobuchar, Hawley, Coons, and Collins, would curtail the use of AI to generate deceptive content falsely depicting federal candidates in political advertisements with the intent of influencing an election. Other policy approaches could enable candidates targeted by materially deceptive AI-generated content used in political advertisements or fundraising campaigns to seek damages or remove deceptive content, while preserving protections for free speech.

In the EU, IBM has been supportive of the Digital Services Act, which imposes on large internet platforms certain obligations regarding the moderation of online content. Recent guidelines published by the European Commission have also proposed additional requirements for consumer-facing platforms to mitigate against "systemic risks for electoral processes."

Protecting creators

Musicians, artists, actors, and creators of all kinds use their talents and likeness to help shape culture, inspire, entertain, and make a living. Deepfakes can enable bad actors to exploit creators' likenesses to push deceptive advertising, scam and mislead consumers, improperly reduce a creator's ability to profit from their talents, and more.

Policymakers should hold people accountable for producing unauthorized deepfakes of creator performances and hold platforms accountable if they knowingly disseminate such unauthorized content. Some jurisdictions already have what are known as "likeness laws" that prohibit the unauthorized use of a person's likeness for commercial exploitation, but these can be inconsistent, and few explicitly cover digital replicas or the rights to use a person's likeness after they die. Given these jurisdictional inconsistencies, IBM supports the NO FAKES Act in the U.S., which would create federal protections for individuals whose voices and/or likenesses are generated by third parties without their consent.

Protecting people's privacy

Everyday people are already being harmed by deepfakes in profoundly concerning ways, particularly by bad actors using their likeness to create nonconsensual pornography. This abuse primarily targets women, victims have included minors, and could potentially enable further abuse and extortion by bad actors. Nonconsensual sharing of intimate imagery, also known as revenge porn, is expanding with the use of deepfakes but ultimately is not a new problem. But few existing laws adequately hold bad actors accountable for sharing or threatening to share this material, or necessarily cover AI-generated content.

Policymakers should create strong criminal and civil liability for people that distribute nonconsensual intimate audiovisual content, including AI-generated content, as well as for people that threaten to do so. Penalties should be particularly severe when the victim is a minor. Legislators can act on this recommendation now by supporting and passing the bipartisan Preventing Deepfakes of Intimate Images Act in the U.S. This bill would create liability for individuals who disclose, or threaten to disclose, a nonconsensual intimate digital depiction of someone, including AI-generated content, and allow affected parties to pursue damages. This legislation would create a much-needed federal baseline of accountability that is inconsistently addressed in various revenge porn laws at the state level, providing greater protections for victims and individuals across the United States.

The EU AI Act – which IBM has long-supported – already addresses many of these types of issues, covering deepfakes more generally and imposing transparency requirements that clarify when particular content is not authentic. As policymakers look towards the Act's implementation in the coming months, particular attention should be paid to ensuring individuals are protected from non-consensual intimate audiovisual content.


Solving the problems posed by deepfakes will require thoughtful, whole-of-society approaches leveraging both changes in law and technology. Technology companies have a responsibility to pursue technical and governance solutions that address AI-generated content, such as those articulated in the Munich Accord, the White House Voluntary AI Commitments, and Canada's Voluntary Code of Conduct on the Responsible Development and Management of Advanced Generative AI Systems

IBM encourages policymakers to seize this opportunity to swiftly target three of the most significant harmful applications of deepfakes to ensure that AI remains a positive force for the global economy and society.

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider, helping clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM's hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently, and securely. IBM's breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM's legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity, and service.

For more information, visit: www.ibm.com.



Support MC Press Online

$0.00 Raised:

Book Reviews

Resource Center

  • SB Profound WC 5536 Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application. You can find Part 1 here. In Part 2 of our free Node.js Webinar Series, Brian May teaches you the different tooling options available for writing code, debugging, and using Git for version control. Brian will briefly discuss the different tools available, and demonstrate his preferred setup for Node development on IBM i or any platform. Attend this webinar to learn:

  • SB Profound WP 5539More than ever, there is a demand for IT to deliver innovation. Your IBM i has been an essential part of your business operations for years. However, your organization may struggle to maintain the current system and implement new projects. The thousands of customers we've worked with and surveyed state that expectations regarding the digital footprint and vision of the company are not aligned with the current IT environment.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT Generic IBM announced the E1080 servers using the latest Power10 processor in September 2021. The most powerful processor from IBM to date, Power10 is designed to handle the demands of doing business in today’s high-tech atmosphere, including running cloud applications, supporting big data, and managing AI workloads. But what does Power10 mean for your data center? In this recorded webinar, IBMers Dan Sundt and Dylan Boday join IBM Power Champion Tom Huntington for a discussion on why Power10 technology is the right strategic investment if you run IBM i, AIX, or Linux. In this action-packed hour, Tom will share trends from the IBM i and AIX user communities while Dan and Dylan dive into the tech specs for key hardware, including:

  • Magic MarkTRY the one package that solves all your document design and printing challenges on all your platforms. Produce bar code labels, electronic forms, ad hoc reports, and RFID tags – without programming! MarkMagic is the only document design and print solution that combines report writing, WYSIWYG label and forms design, and conditional printing in one integrated product. Make sure your data survives when catastrophe hits. Request your trial now!  Request Now.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericForms of ransomware has been around for over 30 years, and with more and more organizations suffering attacks each year, it continues to endure. What has made ransomware such a durable threat and what is the best way to combat it? In order to prevent ransomware, organizations must first understand how it works.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericIT security is a top priority for businesses around the world, but most IBM i pros don’t know where to begin—and most cybersecurity experts don’t know IBM i. In this session, Robin Tatam explores the business impact of lax IBM i security, the top vulnerabilities putting IBM i at risk, and the steps you can take to protect your organization. If you’re looking to avoid unexpected downtime or corrupted data, you don’t want to miss this session.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericCan you trust all of your users all of the time? A typical end user receives 16 malicious emails each month, but only 17 percent of these phishing campaigns are reported to IT. Once an attack is underway, most organizations won’t discover the breach until six months later. A staggering amount of damage can occur in that time. Despite these risks, 93 percent of organizations are leaving their IBM i systems vulnerable to cybercrime. In this on-demand webinar, IBM i security experts Robin Tatam and Sandi Moore will reveal:

  • FORTRA Disaster protection is vital to every business. Yet, it often consists of patched together procedures that are prone to error. From automatic backups to data encryption to media management, Robot automates the routine (yet often complex) tasks of iSeries backup and recovery, saving you time and money and making the process safer and more reliable. Automate your backups with the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAManaging messages on your IBM i can be more than a full-time job if you have to do it manually. Messages need a response and resources must be monitored—often over multiple systems and across platforms. How can you be sure you won’t miss important system events? Automate your message center with the Robot Message Management Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAThe thought of printing, distributing, and storing iSeries reports manually may reduce you to tears. Paper and labor costs associated with report generation can spiral out of control. Mountains of paper threaten to swamp your files. Robot automates report bursting, distribution, bundling, and archiving, and offers secure, selective online report viewing. Manage your reports with the Robot Report Management Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAFor over 30 years, Robot has been a leader in systems management for IBM i. With batch job creation and scheduling at its core, the Robot Job Scheduling Solution reduces the opportunity for human error and helps you maintain service levels, automating even the biggest, most complex runbooks. Manage your job schedule with the Robot Job Scheduling Solution. Key features include:

  • LANSA Business users want new applications now. Market and regulatory pressures require faster application updates and delivery into production. Your IBM i developers may be approaching retirement, and you see no sure way to fill their positions with experienced developers. In addition, you may be caught between maintaining your existing applications and the uncertainty of moving to something new.

  • LANSAWhen it comes to creating your business applications, there are hundreds of coding platforms and programming languages to choose from. These options range from very complex traditional programming languages to Low-Code platforms where sometimes no traditional coding experience is needed. Download our whitepaper, The Power of Writing Code in a Low-Code Solution, and:

  • LANSASupply Chain is becoming increasingly complex and unpredictable. From raw materials for manufacturing to food supply chains, the journey from source to production to delivery to consumers is marred with inefficiencies, manual processes, shortages, recalls, counterfeits, and scandals. In this webinar, we discuss how:

  • The MC Resource Centers bring you the widest selection of white papers, trial software, and on-demand webcasts for you to choose from. >> Review the list of White Papers, Trial Software or On-Demand Webcast at the MC Press Resource Center. >> Add the items to yru Cart and complet he checkout process and submit

  • Profound Logic Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application.

  • SB Profound WC 5536Join us for this hour-long webcast that will explore:

  • Fortra IT managers hoping to find new IBM i talent are discovering that the pool of experienced RPG programmers and operators or administrators with intimate knowledge of the operating system and the applications that run on it is small. This begs the question: How will you manage the platform that supports such a big part of your business? This guide offers strategies and software suggestions to help you plan IT staffing and resources and smooth the transition after your AS/400 talent retires. Read on to learn: