California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a bill that will provide recourse for victims of nonconsensual digital sexually explicit videos, also known as “deepfakes.” Many of the victims of these new face-swapping technologies have been actors whose faces have been digitally superimposed on the bodies of porn stars.
SAG-AFTRA, which has been at the forefront of battling these technologies, praised the governor for signing the bill – AB 602. “We are absolutely thrilled that Gov. Newsom stood by the victims, most of whom are women, of non-consensual pornography by signing AB 602 into law,” said SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris. “I want to thank the governor; the bill’s authors, Assemblymember Marc Berman and Sen. Connie Leyva; and all the California lawmakers who unanimously voted for this legislation. AB 602 is a victory for all Californians. Deepfake technology can be weaponized against any person. Every person deserves the basic human right to live free from image-based sexual abuse.”
AB 602 is the first law of its kind to provide victims of deepfake pornography civil remedies, including statutory damages and preliminary injunctive relief. It requires creators to obtain meaningful, upfront consent from people before digitally depicting them in a sex or nude scene. SAG-AFTRA said it will “continue to urge lawmakers in Congress to amend Section 230 of the Federal Communications Decency Act so victims are further empowered to fight online sexual harassment.”