ByteDance Working On Deepfake Feature; Is This Inviting Trouble?

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TikTok, the popular social media site is in the news again, not for itself, but because of its parent company. ByteDance, the company that owns TikTok, is apparently building a feature that allows users to create their deepfakes. TechCrunch reports that feature called Face Swap was spotted in code on TikTok and the Chinese app called Douyin.

ByteDance Working On Deepfake Feature

 

ByteDance Working On Deepfake Feature

The new feature on ByteDance asks users to scan their faces and then transfer their images to make videos. The coding for the deepfake feature was spotted by Israeli research firm Watchful.ai. On one hand, we can see the new feature as an upgrade to the face-swapping technology. However, the larger picture presents some unpleasant repercussions associated with deepfakes.

We've already heard a lot about deepfakes and how it can cause harm. For one, famed people like actors, politicians, sportsmen and other people of importance can be morphed into saying and doing things they didn't, which could have hazardous consequences on people. Making a deepfake feature easily accessible seems like a bad idea.

The report points out that scanning the facial features is sensitive biometric data. What ByteDance could do with it is a whole other question. Right now, TikTok is facing trouble in the US as it allegedly sharing data with the Chinese authorities. The new deepfake feature could bring in more trouble for the company.

Presently, it's unclear if the ByteDance deepfake feature will go live on TikTok or Douyin. The apps combined have 1.5 billion downloads worldwide. TikTok told TechCrunch that the deepfake feature "definitely not a function in TikTok, nor do we have any intention of introducing it." TikTok also told that it would remove inactive code fragments to avoid confusion.

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