News – Creating sexually explicit deepfakes to become a criminal offence – BBC

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The creation of sexually explicit “deepfake” images is to be made a criminal offence in England and Wales under a new law, the government says.

Under the legislation, anyone making explicit images of an adult without their consent will face a criminal record and unlimited fine. It will apply regardless of whether the creator of an image intended to share it, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said.

And if the image is then shared more widely, they could face jail.

A deepfake is an image or video that has been digitally altered with the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to replace the face of one person with the face of another. Recent years have seen the growing use of the technology to add the faces of celebrities or public figures – most often women – into pornographic films.

Channel 4 News presenter Cathy Newman, who discovered her own image used as part of a deepfake video, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme it was “incredibly invasive”.

Ms Newman found she was a victim as part of a Channel 4 investigation into deepfakes.

“It was violating… it was kind of me and not me,” she said, explaining the video displayed her face but not her hair.

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