Wednesday, Feb. 08, 2023|
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Several bills introduced in the state Legislature aim to protect privacy by regulating the use of “deep fake” technology.
Senate Bill 1009 — co-sponsored by Big Island state Sen. Lorraine Inouye — seeks to implement a number of recommendations from a 21st century privacy law task force that was established by a 2019 resolution.
Among other measures, that task force recommended that the state “protect the privacy of a person’s likeness by adopting laws that prohibit the unauthorized use of deep fake technology, which is improving rapidly, and easily shareable on social media.”
Deep fake technology enables the manipulation of photos or videos where one person in an existing image or video is replaced with another. It often can be difficult to detect whether the images have been edited.
In a 2019 article, the Associated Press reported that lawmakers and experts claimed such videos “pose a clear and growing threat to America’s national security.”
Creating convincing fabricated videos once required expensive equipment and software, but David Doermann, a former official with Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, said in that article that the threat has grown worse due to the proliferation of what was once specialized technology.
SB 1009, Senate Bill 309 and House Bill 346 would expand the definition of first-degree violation of privacy, a Class C felony, to include those who intentionally create, share or threaten to disclose an image or video of a fictitious person depicted in the nude or engaged in sexual conduct that includes “the recognizable physical characteristics of a known person so the image or video appears to depict the known person and not a fictitious person,” intending to substantially harm the individual depicted, or as an act of revenge or retribution.
SB 1009 also would amend the definition of “personal information,” prohibit the sale of geolocation information and internet browser information without consent, and would require law enforcement entities to obtain a search warrant before accessing electronic communications in nonconsensual circumstances.
“Personal privacy of our citizens in Hawaii should be safeguarded against invasive practices, at both private and government levels,” Inouye said. “… The public must be rest assured they can use certain tools in confidence without worrying about being tracked or traced or targeted … without their explicit permission.”
Inouye said she was glad the state is working to protect personal information, “particularly in this day and age and with technology that’s before us.”
SB 309 was introduced by state Sen. Karl Rhoads of Oahu, and HB 346 was introduced by House Speaker Scott Saiki, also of Oahu.
All three bills have passed first reading.
SB 1009 was referred to the Senate Government Operations and Judiciary committees, while SB 309 was referred to the Judiciary Committee.
HB 346 was referred to the House Consumer Protection and Commerce and Judiciary and Hawaii Affairs committees.
A public hearing for SB 309 will be held by the Judiciary Committee at 9:30 a.m. today via video conference.
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