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Deepfakes&Indian Law: Safeguarding Against Digital Deception



  Dec 04, 2023

Deepfakes and Legal Provisions in India


Understanding Deepfakes

Deepfakes leverage sophisticated AI to create fake videos or audio recordings that can be misused for various malicious purposes, including misinformation, defamation, and privacy infringement.

Indian Legal Provisions Addressing Deepfakes

Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act):

Section 66C: Pertains to identity theft.
Section 66D: Deals with cheating by personation using a computer resource.
Section 66E: Penalizes the violation of privacy.
Section 67: Punishes the publishing of obscene content in electronic form.
Section 67A: Deals with the publishing of sexually explicit material.
Section 69: Provides powers for the government to issue directions for interception or monitoring or decryption of any information through any computer resource. Indian Penal Code (IPC):
Section 499: Criminal defamation which could apply to harm caused by deepfakes.
Section 500: Provides punishment for defamation.
Section 503: Criminal intimidation which can be invoked if deepfakes are used to threaten or intimidate.
Section 507: Criminal intimidation by an anonymous communication, which can be applied to the anonymous nature of deepfake dissemination.
Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act: Protecting minors from sexual exploitation, which can include the misuse of deepfakes.
Personal Data Protection Bill: Although not yet enacted, it proposes to establish a framework for data protection that could address deepfake concerns.
Enforcement and Compliance

The IT Act empowers the government and its agencies to monitor and regulate digital platforms, enforce data protection, and privacy laws. Compliance with the provisions of the IT Act and the IPC is mandatory for individuals and entities operating within the Indian jurisdiction.

Challenges and Developments

Legal challenges arise in the context of the rapid advancement of technology, requiring continuous updates to legislation. There is ongoing discourse on amending existing laws and proposing new ones to better address cybercrimes associated with deepfakes.

Victim Support and Recourse

Victims of deepfakes can seek remedy through civil and criminal law, including compensation for damages and prosecution of perpetrators. The legal system is tasked with balancing technological innovation with the protection of individual rights.

Future Legal Landscape

India’s legal framework is adapting to the evolving challenges posed by digital technologies like deepfakes. The proactive amendment of laws and introduction of specific provisions to address the nuances of such technology are critical for maintaining personal integrity and public safety in the digital age.


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