Image Credit: Gulf News archives

London: The UK will criminalise the creation of sexually explicit deepfake images as part of plans to tackle violence against women.

People convicted of creating such deepfakes without consent, even if they don’t intend to share the images, will face prosecution and an unlimited fine under a new law, the Ministry of Justice said in a statement. Sharing the images could also result in jail.

Rapid developments in artificial intelligence have led to the rise of the creation and dissemination of deepfake images and videos. The UK has classified violence against women and girls as a national threat, which means the police must prioritise tackling it, and this law is designed to help them clamp down on a practice that is increasingly being used to humiliate or distress victims.

“This new offence sends a crystal clear message that making this material is immoral, often misogynistic, and a crime,” Laura Farris, minister for victims and safeguarding, said in a statement.

The government is also introducing new criminal offenses for people who take or record real intimate images without consent, or install equipment to enable someone to do so. A new statutory aggravating factor will be brought in for offenders who cause death through abusive, degrading or dangerous sexual behaviour.