EU: Tech Wolf Pack Must Track Down and Kill Deep Fakes

June 20, 2022

I read “EU Wants Big Tech to Address Deepfakes or Face Consequences.” The European Union has decided that the members of the Big Tech Wolf Pack can solve a semi-difficult problem. A deepfake is a content object that has been manipulated to deceive. I suppose there are better definitions, but let’s roll with this simple one.

Is a doctored image in a TikTok video a deepfake? What about a company which uses a fake persona to sell something? An example would be a digital Betty Crocker. What about a video produced with DaVinci Resolve, a free software that permits Hollywood style special effects? What about a grumpy neighbor posting a shaped story about the couple living in a trailer who throw trash into the parking area? What about a real news person writing about a new crypto venture fund and using some colorful adjectives to stimulate interest? What about videos of certain activities between a cartoon character and a faux human? (Is it a fake or is it a new genre?)

I don’t know about you, but the line between real and fake is a tough one to discern.

The write up states:

According to an EU document obtained by Reuters, Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other tech giants will have to combat deepfakes and fake accounts or face heavy fines under a revised European Union code of practice.

Here’s the part I like after a couple of decades of just handing out fines that are the equivalent of lunches at staff meetings for a couple of weeks. (Love that gluten free pizza and those kale salads, right?)

The code says that signatories will create, enforce, and execute explicit policies against unacceptable manipulative behaviors and practices on their platforms, based on the most recent evidence on hostile actors’ conduct, tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs).

And what are the consequences? How about up to six percent of global revenue? That will keep the lawyers and accountants busy?

Does this approach sound possible? Sure, but the effort may prove to be impossible as technology marches on? Is that voice answering system’s recording of Bugs Bunny a deep fake? What about a Zoom background that shows me paying attention when I am not? (That happens on most of my Zoomies.) Perhaps yours too?

Stephen E Arnold, June 20, 2022


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