What is a deepfake video?
A deepfake video is a digital manipulation of a person’s face or voice using artificial intelligence (AI) technology. It can be used to create realistic but fake videos of celebrities, politicians, or anyone else. Deepfake videos can pose serious threats to the privacy, reputation, and security of the people involved, as well as spread misinformation and propaganda.
How did Rashmika Mandanna become a victim of deepfake?
Rashmika Mandanna, a popular actor known for her roles in films such as Pushpa, Mission Majnu, and the upcoming Animal, became a victim of deepfake in November 2023. A video of her went viral on social media, in which her face was superimposed on a video of British influencer Zara Patel. The video showed Patel in a black workout dress inside an elevator. The video was created without the consent or knowledge of either Mandanna or Patel.
Mandanna expressed her shock and hurt over the video on her social media account. She said that she was “really hurt” to see the video and that it was “not fair” to use her face without her permission. She also urged her fans to report the video and not share it further.
How did the Delhi Police crack the case?
The Delhi Police took cognizance of the matter and registered a case under sections 465 (forgery) and 469 (harming reputation) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, and sections 66C (identity theft) and 66E (privacy violation) of the Information Technology Act, 2000. The case was assigned to the Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations (IFSO) unit of the Special Cell, which specializes in cybercrime investigations.
The IFSO unit traced the origin of the video to a website called Deepfakehub, which allows users to create and upload deepfake videos for free. The website also provides tutorials and tools for making deepfake videos. The IFSO unit identified the user who uploaded the video of Mandanna and Patel as “Rajesh Kumar”, a pseudonym.
The IFSO unit then tracked down the IP address and location of the user and found out that he was actually a 25-year-old man named Ravi Kumar, a resident of Andhra Pradesh. Ravi Kumar was arrested on Saturday, January 20, 2024, from his home in Andhra Pradesh. He confessed to creating and uploading the video of Mandanna and Patel as a prank. He also revealed that he had created and uploaded several other deepfake videos of other celebrities and influencers on the website.
What are the legal and social implications of deepfake?
The case of Rashmika Mandanna’s deepfake video has raised several legal and social issues regarding the misuse of technology and the protection of personal data. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeiTY) issued an advisory to social media platforms, highlighting the legal regulations governing deepfake and the potential consequences associated with their creation and dissemination. The advisory also urged the platforms to take proactive measures to detect and remove such videos and to report them to the authorities.
The case also sparked a public debate on the ethical and moral aspects of deepfake and the need for awareness and education among the users and the public. Many experts and activists have called for stricter laws and regulations to prevent and punish the perpetrators of deepfake and to safeguard the rights and dignity of the victims. They have also stressed the importance of verifying the authenticity and source of the videos and images before sharing them online.