What happened: The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress has drafted a change to its Civil Code Personality Rights specifying that technological forgeries of a person’s likeness could violate their portrait rights. According to Synced, the revised Civil Code states that deepfakes cannot be used to replace a person’s face without their informed consent, and that the general proliferation of identity-falsifying technology is dangerous to both national security and civil society.
Why it’s important: Deepfakes have become more common recently, including on Chinese social media. Because of the relative ease with which the technology can be used to forge identities, anybody could fall victim to its effects. China isn’t the only country worried about deepfakes, either: the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence specifically mentioned the image synthesis technique in its most recent Worldwide Threat Assessment, outlining how it could be used as part of “online influence operations to try to weaken democratic institutions.”