FTC: Rule on Impersonation of Individuals

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC or Commission) requests public comment on its proposal to amend the trade regulation rule entitled Rule on Impersonation of Government and Businesses (Impersonation Rule or Rule) to revise the title of the Rule, add a prohibition on the impersonation of individuals, and extend liability for violations of the Rule to parties who provide goods and services with knowledge or reason to know that those goods or services will be used in impersonations of the kind that are themselves unlawful under the Rule.

The agency is taking this action in light of surging complaints around impersonation fraud, as well as public outcry about the harms caused to consumers and to impersonated individuals. Emerging technology – including AI-generated deepfakes – threatens to turbocharge this scourge, and the FTC is committed to using all of its tools to detect, deter, and halt impersonation fraud.

Statement of Chair Lina M. Khan expands on AI’s impact

The rise of generative AI technologies risks making these problems worse by turbocharging scammers’ ability to defraud the public in new, more personalized ways. For example, the proliferation of AI chatbots gives scammers the ability to generate spear-phishing emails using individuals’ social media posts and to instruct bots to use words and phrases targeted at specific groups and communities.7 AI-enabled voice cloning fraud is also on the rise, where scammers use voice-cloning tools to impersonate the voice of a loved one seeking money in distress or a celebrity peddling fake goods.8 Scammers can use these technologies to disseminate fraud more cheaply, more precisely, and on a much wider scale than ever before.

A summary of the changes…

Proposed Changes to the Impersonation Rule

Title Change: To reflect the broader scope of the rule, including the impersonation of individuals alongside businesses and government entities, the title is proposed to be changed to “Rule on Impersonation of Government, Businesses, and Individuals.”

Definition of “Individual”: The addition of a definition for “Individual” to mean any person, entity, or party, real or fictitious, other than those constituting a business or government. This aims to clarify the types of impersonation prohibited.

Prohibition of Individual Impersonation: Introduction of a new section, “Impersonation of Individuals Prohibited,” to explicitly prohibit impersonation of individuals in commerce, mirroring existing prohibitions against impersonating government entities and businesses.

Provision of Goods or Services for Unlawful Impersonation: A new section to make it unlawful to provide goods or services with knowledge, or reason to know, that they will be used in impersonation scams. This amendment seeks to address concerns about broad interpretation and potential imposition of strict liability on unaware third parties, by including a knowledge requirement.

Impact Across Sectors

The language that extends liability — would impact entities that provide goods and services used in impersonation scams, knowingly or with reason to know, are held liable under the proposed amendments. This would include telecommunications companies to social media platforms, essentially any service that could be used as a means or instrumentality for impersonation. The proposal emphasizes a knowledge component to prevent undue liability on those unknowingly involved, aiming to balance the enforcement of rules against scammers with the legitimate operations of businesses.

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Embodied, Perceptive, Realtime AI

Over the past couple of months I found myself thinking about what does Realtime AI looks like in practice. Somewhere between the swarm behavior that takes place in applications like Waze or citizen app that collects incoming information around a specific event as it happens.

There’s also the real time of perception, and how does AI in practice allow humans to perceive the environments around them starting with our own five senses senses and then other heads of data of the environment, situational awareness, etc.

I came across this paper that calls for embodied AI that wants to crate a foundational guideline for future E-AI research. Highlighting the importance of creating E-AI agents capable of seamless communication, collaboration, and coexistence with humans and other intelligent entities within real-world environments..



Mark Ghuneim standing a mid Raphaela Vogel's work In the Expanded Penalty Box: Did You Happen to See the Most Beautiful Fox?
Mark Ghuneim standing a mid Raphaela Vogel's work In the Expanded Penalty Box: Did You Happen to See the Most Beautiful Fox? (photo Gregg Greenwood 2024)

Art+Technology: Raphaela Vogel

In the Expanded Penalty Box: Did You Happen to See the Most Beautiful Fox?

January 11 – February 17, 2024  Petzel, NYC

Petzel is pleased to present In the Expanded Penalty Box: Did You Happen to See the Most Beautiful Fox?, an interdisciplinary exhibition of new works by Berlin-based artist Raphaela Vogel, in which she unfolds her enigmatic form repertoire beyond aesthetic orthodoxies. The show marks Vogel’s first exhibition with the gallery, as well as her first solo exhibition in the US, and will be on view from January 11 to February 17, 2024, at Petzel’s Chelsea location at 520 West 25th Street.

Through surrealistic and autobiographically composed environments, Vogel deals with power dynamics ranging from questions of gender to human-animal and machine relations. Here, phallic forms of spatial production and the urges of male voyeurism are confronted by Vogel’s highly subjective camera and occupation of space. Her installations and video collages often feature metal sounds, drones, field recordings, pop songs, and singing hooligans sampled from Vogel’s own cultural memory. The artist’s ambiguous play with received notions of architectural and artistic mastery is reflected in the employment of readymades associated with the public realm: steel girders, cars, urinals, or heraldic statues. These symbols of power are often paired with visceral white polyurethane sculptures and painterly stretched animal skins, transforming the virile rectangular predominant in architecture and painting into triangular bodily objects.

In the Expanded Penalty Box: Did You Happen to See the Most Beautiful Fox? interlocks new hallucinogenic video collages, sculptural monumentalism, and ritualistic paintings with questions of intersubjectivity, technogenesis, and a culture of remembrance. The center of the gallery is occupied by a retrofuturistic apparatus. This 360-degree 3D scanner functions as a panoptic confessional for exhibitionist self-monitoring where visitors can become masters and servants of themselves: a metaphorical penalty box of another kind. Once inside, in a fraction of a second, 70 single-lens reflex cameras capture every detail and angle of a body. But only for a fleeting moment do the scanned pictorial fractures of oneself pop up on a screen in order to vanish again without being stored in the digital ether.



Content, Reach and Manipulated Media

Watermarks and audit trails are not a solution to manipulated media. Face swapping does not care about provenance, it cares about reach.

Standards being put in-place now at the hardware level would have to become a filter at the display level unilaterally worldwide. There are always work arounds. Right now Yandex is providing the search results X is trying to stem.

How exactly does any of this go back into the bottle? It doesn’t. Reach is not just viral anymore it’s predatory, built on the scaffolding of ad-tech and social networks DAU’s OKRs, click bait, influencers and all the rest of the video horror show.

It’s almost like reach has become disintermediated from intent and original message and it becomes the content. The content that can achieve reach –– based on the current social-eco-political-pop-cutural landscape conditions.

This nightmare manifested itself with the Taylor Swift manipulations. Good on her fans to understand search is about results, and flooding that field with theirs. They also understood that the demand of ‘reach’ would be driving it right then.

Engagement needs to be removed as a metric that recommendation is based on. The content-reach-outrage troika knows no boundaries. It does not care about block chains, visible or invisible watermarks.

Links Jan 2024

WEF Panel – The Expanding Universe of Generative Models – Speakers: Yann LeCun, Nicholas Thompson, Kai-Fu Lee, Daphne Koller, Andrew Ng, Aidan Gomez

Artificial intelligence (AI) – despite important consequences on job re-organization and potential replacement of some positions – will lead to the emergence of a range of new roles, outlines the newly released Future of Growth Report 2024.

IMF Gen-AI: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Work IMF Staff Discussion Notes (SDNs) showcase policy-related analysis and research being developed by IMF staff members and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate.

Tether stable coin – the coin  for Casinos, Money Laundering, Underground Banking, and
Transnational Organized Crime in East and Southeast Asia: – A Hidden and Accelerating Threat

Databroker Watch. Tracking and mapping the data broker ecosystem

Artisans bring AI tools to the workbench  (FT) Forward-thinking designers are willing to embrace the technology — without relinquishing human creativity’s central role.

Dreamtalk Given any audio (text or song) and a single image frame, it generates a lip-synced animated video, copying the “expression” of a style reference.

M2UGen: Multi-modal Music Understanding and Generation with the Power of Large Language Models

Photomaker (realistic) and stylized