New Delhi, November 18
A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised concern over deepfake videos, Union Electronics and Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Saturday warned social media platforms that immunity they enjoy under the “safe harbour” clause in the Information and Technology Act will not apply if they do not take steps to remove such content.
No immunity if steps not taken
Safe harbour clause, which most social media platforms have been enjoying... does not apply if they do not take adequate steps for removing deepfakes from platforms. Ashwini Vaishnaw, IT min
Use of tech by criminals challenge
Circumstances change rapidly due to influence of new tech & social media. Generative AI is used by criminals and problems like deepfake are coming to fore. Droupadi Murmu, President
According to the clause, an online platform cannot be held accountable, or has immunity, for third-party content posted by users.
Vaishnaw said a meeting was slated between government officials and major social media platforms to address the escalating concerns surrounding deepfake technology. “They are taking steps... but we think many more steps will have to be taken. And we are soon going to have a meeting of all platforms... Maybe in the next three-four days, we’ll call them for brainstorming and make sure platforms make adequate efforts for preventing it (deepfakes), and cleaning up their system,” Vaishnaw told media.
Asked about the participation of major entities such as Meta and Google in the impending meeting, the minister confirmed their inclusion.
The government had recently issued a notice to companies regarding the deepfake predicament. While acknowledging some efforts made by platforms in response, Vaishnav said the necessity for a more proactive stance in combatting such content. Crucially, Vaishnaw highlighted that the current safeguard of safe harbour immunity under the IT Act would not shield platforms unless tangible actions were taken to address the menace. “The safe harbour clause, which most social media platforms have been enjoying... that does not apply if they do not take adequate steps for removing deepfakes from their platforms,” he added.
Recent incidents involving deepfake videos targeting prominent personalities have triggered public outrage.
Meanwhile, President Droupadi Murmu, addressing an event, said the use of generative artificial intelligence by criminals and the problem of deepfake, means police officers have to always be updated in the field of technology.
“Circumstances change rapidly due to the influence of new technology and social media. Generative artificial intelligence is used by criminals and problems like deepfake are coming to the fore,” she said.
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