India Set to Introduce Digital India Bill to Combat Deepfake Videos and Regulate Online Content

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NEW DELHI: With an aim to check artificial intelligence (AI)-generated deepfake videos and explore better ways to use the technology, the Union government is likely to introduce the Digital India Bill in upcoming Monsoon Session of Parliament.

According to sources, the Bill aims to explore better ways to use technology and develop legal frameworks to address challenges posed by deep fakes and AI-generated content, reflecting the growing global concern about these issues.

The legislation will also regulate videos on various online mediums, including YouTube and social media platforms.

The sources also said that the government would try to get a cross-party consensus on the Bill before its introduction in Parliament.

Lawyer and cyber expert Virag Gupta said that the AI industry is based on unauthorised usage of private and government data. For these purposes, rules relating to the Data Protection Law need to be notified.

“Regarding deep-fakes, tech giants and social media platforms need to comply with IT intermediary rules and notify grievance officers which will provide an appropriate channel for users to lodge complaints regarding the same. As per the jurisprudence of polluters pays principle, platforms which are helping in large-scale creation of deep-fakes and its circulation must be held accountable,” Gupta said.

As per the new data protection law and the IT Act, he said that companies must be held accountable for data leaks, hacks, sale or transfer of data that leads to privacy violations of individuals. The government has notified the new criminal laws, which comprehensively cover offences, procedures, and evidences.

There are statements and discussions on the Digital India Act, but legislation is yet to be finalised, and there is no ground-work relating to laws on AI, he noted.

In the same manner, a digital code of laws and rules are to be notified. It may include laws relating to telecom, the internet, data protection, and AI. Such laws should take care of many new areas such as e-commerce, crypto, OTT, drones, fintech, online gaming etc, Gupta added.

During the previous government, the then Union minister of state for IT, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, had hinted about the Bill, saying that it would be taken up for enactment and execution by the next government.

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“NEW DELHI: With an aim to check artificial intelligence (AI)-generated deepfake videos and explore better ways to use the technology, the Union government is likely to introduce the Digital India…”

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