California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed into law a bill that aims to protect voters and political candidates from deepfakes in time for the 2020 election.
AB 730, written by Assemblyman Marc Berman, D-Palo Alto, prohibits distribution of doctored video or audio of a candidate “with the intent to injure the candidate’s reputation or to deceive a voter into voting for or against the candidate” unless the media is clearly marked as fake.
The new law, signed Thursday, boosts existing law about manipulated photos and would allow candidates to seek injunctive relief and damages if they can prove the deepfakes were distributed with malice.
“In the context of elections, the ability to attribute speech or conduct to a candidate that is false – that never happened – makes deepfake technology a powerful and dangerous new tool in the arsenal of those who want to wage misinformation campaigns to confuse voters,” Berman said in a statement.