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NYS Budget’s Deepfake Regulations Are a Critical Measure To Protect Election Integrity 

Albany, NY — Today, it was confirmed by New York state officials that regulations on the use of deepfakes in campaign communications will be included in its forthcoming state budget, which is expected to be finalized and approved by the state Assembly, state Senate, and Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) in the next week.

The regulation would require political candidates and campaigns to include a disclaimer whenever AI is used in their communication materials. The precise language for that disclaimer is yet to be decided. 

Jonah Minkoff-Zern, co-director Public Citizen’s democracy campaign, issued the following statement in response:

“The possibility of AI deepfakes swaying or upending an American election has never been more real than it is now, just over six months out from the 2024 election. 

“While the federal government continues to stall, it is commendable that New York elected officials are taking this proactive measure to mitigate the threat and ensure that campaigns aren’t allowed to use fraudulent, AI-generated images or audio to deceive voters.”

Public Citizen’s experts are available to discuss efforts at both the state and federal level to regulate AI deepfakes in campaign communications, as well as our own work on the subject, which includes:

  • A petition to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to regulate the use of AI deepfakes at the federal level — and the agency’s dangerous choice to slow-walk the issue. 
  • A state bills tracker, which keeps tabs on legislation moving in states around the country (the progress has been extremely rapid!) and testifying on many state bills.
  • A model law for states to use to regulate deepfakes in campaigns, emphasizing full disclosure of AI-generated content that falsely depicts what candidates are doing or saying with entirely fabricated computer images and voices.