In response to the escalating threat of scams fuelled by generative artificial intelligence (GenAI), the US FTC has unveiled plans to impose penalties on companies whose technology is knowingly or potentially being exploited for deepfake impersonation.

The regulatory body is currently soliciting public feedback on a proposed rule that would hold companies accountable if they have reason to believe that their technology, including tools facilitating AI-generated content, is being utilised for deceptive practices against consumers.

The FTC also confirmed the finalisation of a regulation specifically addressing impersonations targeting businesses and government entities.

In an official statement released by the FTC on Thursday (15 February), the regulatory body said instances of scams employing business logos in deceptive emails will now be subject to legal action.

The body said it will file court cases aimed at forcing scammers to reimburse ill-gotten gains.

With a surge in complaints related to impersonation fraud, the FTC expressed deep concern about the escalating threat posed by AI, stating that it “threatens to turbocharge this scourge”.

The statement also noted the increased feasibility of scams due to the rapid advancement of GenAI, which can produce voice, video or text in various styles.

While Silicon Valley has been captivated by the possibilities of this technology, concerns have mounted regarding its potential privacy and security implications.

Earlier this month, the EU launched a public consultation on draft election security mitigations in the hopes of tackling risks associated with GenAI and deepfakes.

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The guidelines specifically targeted larger online platforms such as FacebookGoogle, TikTok and X.