July 21, 2024

FTC Proposes Stricter Rules Against AI Impersonation to Combat Deepfakes

Concerned about the rising threat of deepfakes, the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is moving to enhance regulations preventing the impersonation of businesses or government agencies by artificial intelligence (AI), with the goal of safeguarding consumers.

The proposed update to the regulation, pending final language and public input, could potentially criminalize generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) platforms offering products or services knowingly used for consumer harm through impersonation.

“With voice cloning and other AI-driven scams on the rise, protecting Americans from impersonator fraud is more critical than ever. Our proposed expansions to the final impersonation rule would do just that, strengthening the FTC’s toolkit to address AI-enabled scams impersonating individuals.”

FTC Chair Lina Khan in a Press Release

The revised government and business impersonation rule grants the FTC the authority to directly initiate federal court cases to compel scammers to return funds obtained through impersonating government or business entities.

The final rule is set to take effect 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. The public has a 60-day window to provide feedback on the proposed rulemaking, with details on the commenting process.

Deepfakes, employing AI to manipulate videos by altering facial or bodily features, have spurred the need for regulatory action. While federal laws don’t specifically address deepfake creation or sharing, the FTC’s move is part of broader efforts to mitigate the threat.

In related actions, the Federal Communications Commission recently prohibited AI-generated robocalls, responding to a deepfake incident involving President Joe Biden discouraging voters. State-level legislation against deepfakes has also emerged, highlighting the need for comprehensive measures to tackle the evolving landscape of AI-enabled fraud and deception.

Image by kjpargeter on Freepik

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