A bill introduced by State Rep. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz (D-17th) of Glenview to crack down on “deepfake” videos, passed in the Illinois House and is headed for the Senate.
Deepfake videos are digitally forged videos, using technology that can portray a person doing or saying things the person did not say or do.
“Digitally-forged images, also known as ‘deepfakes,’ are a serious problem that is growing rapidly in sophistication and frequency,” Gong-Gershowitz said. “This technology is frequently used to falsely portray women in sexually-explicit content without their consent. These deepfakes are a form of sexual abuse and our laws need to catch up to this technology before more women are harmed.”
Gong-Gershowitz’s bill, House Bill 2123, the Digital Forgeries Act, “creates a civil a cause of action against any person who knowingly distributes, creates or solicits a digital forgery of another individual without their consent and for the purposes of harassing, extorting, threatening or causing harm to the falsely depicted individual,” a statement from her office said. “Digital forgers can also be held liable if their actions are reckless or if they incite violence. Instances of parody or satire are not restricted by this legislation.”
“Victims of sexually-explicit deepfakes are experiencing real trauma as a result of this abuse — we have a responsibility to put a stop to it,” Gong-Gershowitz said. “This is a bipartisan issue that received unanimous support in the House. I respectfully call on my colleagues in the Senate to take up this legislation without delay.”
The bill has 18 House co-sponsors and 14 Senate co-sponsors. It passed out of the House on March 23 and had a first reading in the Senate on March 24.