The past year has seen a remarkable rise in the quality and quantity of deepfakes — realistic-looking images and videos produced with artificial intelligence that portray someone doing or saying something that never actually happened, such as Nixon delivering an alternate moon landing speech. As the tools to produce this synthetic media advance, policymakers are scrambling to address public concerns, and state lawmakers in particular have put forth several proposals this year to respond to deepfakes. Most of these laws generally take the right approach: They make it unlawful to distribute deepfakes with a malicious intent, and they create recourse for those in their state who have been negatively affected by bad actors. However, it is important that lawmakers carefully craft these laws so as not to erode free speech rights or undermine legitimate uses of the technology.
Daniel Castro is the director of the Center for Data Innovation and vice president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. Mr. Castro writes and speaks on a variety of issues related to information technology and internet policy, including data, privacy, security, intellectual property, internet governance, e-government, and accessibility for people with disabilities. His work has been quoted and cited in numerous media outlets, including The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, USA Today, Bloomberg News, and Businessweek. In 2013, Mr. Castro was named to FedScoop’s list of “Top 25 most influential people under 40 in government and tech.” In 2015, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker appointed Mr. Castro to the Commerce Data Advisory Council. Mr. Castro previously worked as an IT analyst at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) where he audited IT security and management controls at various government agencies. He contributed to GAO reports on the state of information security at a variety of federal agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). In addition, Mr. Castro was a Visiting Scientist at the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he developed virtual training simulations to provide clients with hands-on training of the latest information security tools. He has a B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and an M.S. in Information Security Technology and Management from Carnegie Mellon University.