Yes, permission is needed to deepfake someone. Deepfakes are manipulated media content that uses artificial intelligence to alter the appearance or voice of a person. While they can be entertaining, they can also be used for nefarious purposes, raising questions about the need for permission when creating and sharing deepfakes.

Are Deepfakes Illegal?

Deepfakes, defined as manipulated audio or visual content created using artificial intelligence (AI), have become a growing concern in recent years. The term “deepfake” is a combination of “deep learning” and “fake” and refers to the sophisticated techniques used to create realistic yet forged media. With the rise of deepfakes, the question of their legality has been raised. The short answer is that it depends on the context and intention behind creating and sharing them.

Overview Of Deepfake Laws And Regulations

As deepfakes can pose various risks, many countries have started implementing laws and regulations to address this issue. However, currently, there are no comprehensive laws specifically targeting deepfakes. Instead, the existing laws related to defamation, fraud, privacy, intellectual property rights, and election interference are applied to prosecute individuals who create or distribute deepfakes with malicious intent.

For instance, in the United States, creating deepfakes for non-consensual pornographic purposes may be punished under state-specific laws against revenge porn. Similarly, in India, cybercrime laws such as Section 66E of the Information Technology Act can be used to prosecute those who share morphed images or videos containing sexual content without consent.

Some countries have also proposed new legislation explicitly addressing deepfakes. For example, in Singapore, the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) was passed in 2019 with provisions to combat disinformation spread through deepfake technology.

What is Deepfake Technology, And Why Is It A Concern?

Deepfake technology uses AI algorithms called generative adversarial networks (GANs) to create compelling fake videos or images by swapping faces or voices in existing content. The rapid advancement of this technology makes it easier for anyone with basic technical knowledge to generate realistic-looking fake media that can deceive even experts.

The primary concern surrounding deepfakes is the potential harm they can cause, especially in a time where misinformation and fake news are rampant. For instance, deepfakes can be used to spread false information or defame individuals or organizations, leading to reputation damage, cyberbullying, or even incitement of violence.

Furthermore, deepfakes can be used for financial scams by impersonating prominent figures or creating fake interviews to manipulate stock prices. In the political arena, deepfakes have the power to sway public opinion and interfere with elections by spreading false information about candidates.

Potential Harms of Deepfakes

Deepfakes can cause numerous potential harm. They can impact individuals’ privacy, reputation, and safety while threatening the democratic process and economy. For instance, a deepfake video could claim that a politician made a controversial statement or endorse a false conspiracy theory that could sway voters’ opinions. This misuse of deepfake technology has profound implications for democracy and free speech.

Moreover, as deepfakes become more prevalent, it could lead to widespread distrust in media and undermine public trust in information sources. This could lead to chaos and confusion in society as people struggle to determine what is real and what is not.

In conclusion, while there are currently limited laws explicitly targeting deepfakes, their potential harms have raised concerns for governments worldwide. It is essential to continue developing legislation that addresses this issue comprehensively while promoting media literacy among the general public to mitigate the negative impacts of this technology.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it illegal to make a deepfake of someone?

Yes, it is illegal in most cases to make a deepfake of someone without their consent. This can be considered as identity fraud or invasion of privacy.

What is the law for deepfakes?

The laws surrounding deepfakes vary by country, but generally, it is illegal to create and distribute false information or images with malicious intent. In some places, specific laws against deepfakes target specific individuals or are used for political purposes.

Are deepfakes identity theft?

Deepfakes can be used for identity theft if created and distributed to deceive others. They could also be used to defame or harm an individual’s reputation if they are falsely portrayed in a deepfake video.

Is deepfake copyright?

Deepfake technology cannot be copyrighted, but the materials used to create the video (such as images or audio recordings) may have their copyrights. It is essential to obtain permission from the original creators before using their content in a deepfake video.


In conclusion, creating deepfakes raises critical ethical questions about using someone’s likeness without consent. While it may seem harmless at first glance, deepfaking can have severe consequences and potential legal implications for both the creator and the subject. It is crucial to reflect on the impact and potential harm deepfakes can cause before deciding whether or not to create them. Ultimately, obtaining permission from the individual portrayed in a deepfake is imperative in ensuring respect for their privacy and autonomy.

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