The UK Criminalizes Creating Sexually Explicit Deepfake Images

AI Face

The creation of sexually explicit deepfake images is to be made a criminal offense in the U.K. — with anyone sharing these images facing the possibility of jail time.

According to a statement published by the U.K. government on Tuesday, the creation of a deepfake image will be an offence regardless of whether the creator intended to share it.

Under the legislation, anyone convicted of creating such deepfakes without consent, even if they don’t intend to share the images, will face a criminal record as well as an unlimited fine under a new law.

However, if the sexually explicit deepfake image is shared more widely, then the offender could face jail time too.

A ‘Crystal Clear Message’ About Deepfakes

The offence will be introduced through an amendment to the criminal justice bill, which is making its way through the U.K. parliament.

The U.K. government also announced that it was introducing new criminal offenses for people who take or record real intimate images without consent or install filming equipment to enable someone to do so.

“The creation of deepfake sexual images is despicable and completely unacceptable irrespective of whether the image is shared,” Laura Farris, the minister for victims and safeguarding, says in a statement.

“It is another example of ways in which certain people seek to degrade and dehumanize others — especially women.

“And it has the capacity to cause catastrophic consequences if the material is shared more widely. This government will not tolerate it.

“This new offense sends a crystal clear message that making this material is immoral, often misogynistic, and a crime.”

Last year, the U.K. introduced the Online Safety Bill which criminalized the sharing of any deepfake porn made without the subject’s consent — creation is being facilitated by advances in artificial intelligence.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., senators introduced a bill that would criminalize the spread of nonconsensual deepfake porn — in direct response to the sexually explicit AI-generated photos of Taylor Swift that went viral earlier this year.

And last month, two teen boys were arrested in Florida for allegedly making deepfake nude images of their classmates — in what is believed to be the first-ever U.S. instance of criminal charges in relation to AI-generated nudes.

Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.