The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) Friday announced draft provisions and regulations for content providers who alter facial and voice data, the country’s latest effort to combat deepfakes, or videos and other visual technologies that have been altered in order to disseminate false accusations and spread misinformation.
The guidelines, which are intended to regulate technology that uses algorithms to generate and modify text, audio, images, and videos, are geared toward so-called deep synthesis service providers (DSSPs), a term the CAC uses with reference to all platforms and companies that use deep learning or virtual reality to alter any online content.
The language of the regulations reflects the Chinese government’s ongoing efforts to imbue the country’s internet access with socialist principles. According to the text, DSSPs will now be expected to “respect social morality and ethics” and “adhere to the correct political direction.”
The regulations also prohibit the creation of deepfakes without the permission of the person or people featured in the creation. A user complaints system and procedures to prevent deepfakes from being exploited to propagate incorrect information are also included in the draft. App stores will be compelled to suspend or remove providers of deepfake technologies as necessary.
The draft rules further require DSSPs to: “establish and improve management systems such as algorithm mechanism review, information content management, and employee education and training, and have safe and controllable technical safeguards that are compatible with the development of new technologies and new applications.”
DSSPs must formulate management rules and platform conventions should be formulated and made public. Finally, users’ real identity information should be authenticated in accordance with the law.
For first-time violators, the laws mandate fines of ¥10,000 to 100,000 ($1,600 to $16,000), although violations can also lead to civil and criminal charges. The feedback deadline for the draft rules is February 28, 2022.