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Business News/ News / India/  Govt set to notify new IT rules on deepfakes for social media: Chandrasekhar

Govt set to notify new IT rules on deepfakes for social media: Chandrasekhar

The advisories issued to the intermediaries on deepfake and misinformation will ‘find their way into the rules in almost the same language’, Chandrasekhar added.

Minister of electronics and information technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar. (PTI)Premium
Minister of electronics and information technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar. (PTI)

NEW DELHI : The government is set to notify rules that will mandate social media platforms to tackle the menace of deepfakes, after repeated advisories failed to get the desired result, Union minister of state for information technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar said on Tuesday.

“We had issued an advisory and we have also said that if we are not satisfied with the compliance, we will notify newly-amended rules that are much more specific to the issue of misinformation and deepfake in particular. You can take it from me today that we are going to issue newly-amended IT rules over the next seven to eight days," the minister said while responding to questions from the media.

“If it is not enough after the government suggests through an advisory, what amendments have to be done to the Terms of Use, we will then embed that explicitly in the rules, which we’re now going to do," he added.

The minister added that the advisories issued to the intermediaries on deepfake and misinformation will ‘find their way into the rules in almost the same language’ and that the amended terms of use which were issued as advisories to the intermediaries, will now be made part of the rules and compliance will be mandatory.

Penalties will be adjudicated as per criminal law, for instance, in case of a person being affected or harmed by deepfake, the affected party can file a police complaint which will be dealt with under Section 469 of the Indian Penal Code that specifies punishment for forgery.

Chandrasekhar said that the a “bystander clause" will be added to the IT Rules, where users or bystanders can report incidents of illegal content to the police. This will have a similar effect as provisions available under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.

Artificial intelligence (AI)-generated and modified or synthetic content, commonly referred to as deepfakes, has seen a sharp increase in proliferation on social media platforms, with the latest being a video where cricketer Sachin Tendulkar was seen promoting a gaming app for easy money-making. Tendulkar took to social media platform X to call out the video as ‘fake’ and asked platforms for swift action to stop the spread of misinformation and deepfakes. A slew of deepfake incidents targeting prominent actors and politicians across multiple social media platforms have been seen over the past several months.

The ministry of electronics and information technology (Meity) had last month issued advisory to intermediaries, which stated that the content not permitted under IT rules must be clearly communicated to users, in particular those listed under Rule 3(1)(b), through its terms of service and user agreements. The platforms are also obliged to ensure reasonable efforts to prevent users from hosting, displaying, uploading, modifying, publishing, transmitting, storing, updating, or sharing any information related to the 11 listed user harms or content prohibited on digital intermediaries, the ministry had said.

The minister also stated that the rules under the Digital Personal Data Protection Act will be issued within this month, followed by a month of public consultation, but expressed uncertainty whether they would be notified before the general elections expected by the middle of this year.

Speaking on the National Startup Day, the minister said that the next wave of startups will come from those deeply focused on intellectual property, devices and products. “The next wave will be AI, electronics, semiconductor, web 3.0 quantum computing, where the core value will be not market and scale, it will be IP," he said, noting that in the last six to eight years, India had seen the rise of consumer internet companies like Flipkart and Zomato, many of which had become unicorns.

He further said that India’s startup ecosystem was set to explode in the next decade to one million startups and 10,000 unicorns, up from more than 100,000 startups and 112 unicorns today.

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Gulveen Aulakh
Gulveen covers both corporate and economy, and policy sections of Mint. She also covers telecom, IT from the corporate side and disinvestment, finance ministry from the economy side. Gulveen finds the rare mix of sectors she covers to be incredibly interesting.
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Published: 16 Jan 2024, 11:04 PM IST
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