NEW JERSEY – Senator Kristin Corrado has introduced legislation that criminalizes the non-consensual sharing of “deepfake” pornography that is increasingly used to victimize people.
“We’ve made great strides in recent years in our efforts to stop the proliferation of revenge porn and the non-consensual sharing of intimate photos and videos online,” said Corrado (R-40). “Unfortunately, some bad actors are getting around the revenge porn law by using new AI tools to generate pornography that appears to be the targeted victim. The public sharing of ‘deepfake’ pornography that includes a person’s likeness can be just as devastating for a victim as the real thing.”
Corrado’s new legislation incorporates the non-consensual disclosure of sexually deceptive audio or visual media, commonly known as “deepfakes,” into the state’s invasion of privacy statutes. Deepfakes can be produced using new artificial intelligence (AI) tools that make it appear as if a person has engaged in activity that did not actually occur.
Non-intimate photos found online on a victim’s social media account, for example, can be uploaded to apps or websites that generate pornography featuring the person’s face that looks real. When the person depicted is a child, deepfake technology has the potential to create realistic pornography involving the child.
Under Corrado’s legislation, the non-consensual sharing of deepfake pornography would be a crime of the third degree, the same as for revenge porn under the state’s invasion of privacy statute. A crime of the third degree is punishable by three to five years imprisonment, a fine of up to $15,000, or both.
The legislation would treat the distribution, possession, or storage of deepfake pornography that depicts a child the same as child pornography, which can be a crime of the first degree or of the second degree depending on the number of files involved. A crime of the second degree is punishable by five to ten years imprisonment, a fine of up to $150,000, or both. A crime of the first degree is punishable by 10 to 20 years imprisonment, a fine of up to $200,000, or both.
“Deepfake pornography is often used to humiliate and destroy the reputations and careers of victims, and it’s a dangerous tool that domestic abusers can use to exert control,” Corrado said. “When kids use deepfakes to bully other kids, it can lead to suicide. When adults share deepfake porn depicting children, it can encourage others to victimize kids in more dangerous ways. Given the rapid rise of AI, deepfake pornography is an emerging threat that we need to address today.”
While most states, including New Jersey, now have laws against revenge porn, only California, Texas, and Virginia currently address the non-consensual sharing of deepfakes.