Pennsylvania Senate Republican Caucus

06/10/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/10/2024 14:44

Pennsylvania Senate Passes Legislation to Combat AI-Generated Deepfake Images of Minors

Harrisburg, June 10, 2024 - Today, the Pennsylvania Senate approved Senate Bill 1213, legislation sponsored by Senator Tracy Pennycuick (R-24), Senator Jimmy Dillon (D-5), and Senator Lisa Boscola (D-18), to combat "deepfake" images of minors and child porn generated by artificial intelligence (AI). This crucial legislation passed unanimously.

The bill addresses the alarming rise in AI-generated sexual images of non-consenting adults and children. Currently, Pennsylvania law makes it illegal to share intimate images without consent but does not clearly address the use of AI deepfake technology for this purpose. This gap in our law leaves many vulnerable to a new form of digital abuse.

"It shocks the conscience what some people will do with the latest technology, including creating sexual images of people who did not give their consent and outright child porn. We need to do everything we can to prevent individuals from using AI for these insidious purposes," said Pennycuick, who chairs the Senate Communications and Technology Committee. "By working in a bipartisan manner, the General Assembly is making it clear that Pennsylvania is not the place for this depraved activity."

The inspiration for SB 1213 partly stems from incidents like the one in Westfield, NJ, where AI-generated nude photos of high school students were maliciously shared on social media. This incident highlights the urgent need for legal protections against such exploitative actions. Even more alarming is the emergence of AI-generated child sexual abuse material. SB 1213 provides the necessary tools for law enforcement and prosecutors alike to tackle this issue head-on.

"This bill does more than update our laws to reflect technological advancements - it protects our children, our families, and our communities from a dangerous form of digital exploitation," said Dillon. "The emotional and psychological toll of having one's likeness manipulated and shared without consent can be devastating and long-lasting for the victim," he continued. "We have a duty to ensure our laws provide clear protections against these deeply intimate violations."

"Today, the Senate took a major step forward in the fight against child pornography and sexually exploitive images," said Boscola. "This long overdue legislation will provide law enforcement the tools it needs to combat the rapid expansion of AI technology and its exploitation for vile ends. I applaud my colleagues on their leadership and hard work in getting this done for the children and the exploited of Pennsylvania."

By passing SB 1213, Pennsylvania sends a strong message that it will not tolerate such invasive and harmful actions against its citizens. This commonsense legislation upholds the dignity and safety of all Pennsylvanians, ensuring clear protections against the exploitation of minors. Senators Pennycuick, Dillon, and Boscola encourage their colleagues in the House of Representatives to support this vital legislation.

Contact Information

Amanda Applegate (Sen. Dillon)
(215) 281-2539
[email protected]

Matt Szuchyt (Sen. Pennycuick)
[email protected]

Meghan Lago (Sen. Boscola)
[email protected]