An Age where Eyes Can’t be Trusted: Image Manipulation Through Deepfakes

Gowri Dev & Akshay Pramodh

Digital transformation in recent years has normalised the distortion of reality on the internet. It took an exponential leap with the advent of ‘deepfake’ technology. Machine learning has now enabled the manipulation of content to produce hyper-realistic false content resistant to detection. Like any other invention, while deepfakes have their apparent advantages, the threats that are exacerbated by them overshadow them. This article attempts to understand the current legal framework for deepfakes. We aim to provide an analysis of whether the current legal system in India is equipped to deal with the novel issue of deepfakes. A broad array of legal provisions is analysed, relating it to the regulation of deepfakes. This paper seeks to find the accessible remedies available against the misuse of deepfake, especially in the sphere of non-consensual pornography. The first part deals with the technological origins of deepfakes. The second part deals with the threats posed by deepfakes, particularly focusing on non-consensual pornography analysed through the aspect of sexual privacy. The last part constitutes the current legal remedies available against deepfakes.

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