A case that arouses a lively controversy in the country. Nearly twenty complaints have been filed in Spain after the dissemination of false nude images of underage girls, generated by an artificial intelligence application. These cases occurred in Almendralejo, in the regionof Extremadura.
The alleged perpetrators of these images, some of whom have been identified, "manipulated photos of underage girls" to place their faces on the "(naked) bodies of other people," a police spokeswoman told AFP. Another police source explains that these fake images were generated using an artificial intelligence (AI) application, capable of producing very realistic photomontages.
Police have so far collected 21 statements from 21 victims, El Periodico reported Wednesday. A figure that continues to grow since the explosion of the case at the beginning of the week. An investigation has been opened for an alleged invasion of privacy. The prosecutor's office said that the crime of child pornography could also be retained, given the age of the victims. The Spanish data protection agency has also announced that it is opening preliminary investigations into these cases.
These montages "can have serious consequences for those who took the photos and those who disseminated them," the mayor of Almendralejo told reporters.
A "disgusting" case
The mother of one of the victims, Miriam Al Adib, denounced on Instagram an "ignominy". "When I arrived home, one of my daughters," said to me with enormous disgust, "look at what they did... They took a picture of her and mounted her as if she were naked (...) using artificial intelligence." She said the police told her that the photos may have been posted on the "OnlyFans" platform or on "pornographic sites".
Another mother told Spanish public television TVE that the footage had been used as a means of blackmail to get money from her daughter. A 12-year-old girl was asked for money in exchange for not broadcasting a montage.
The region's president, Maria Guardiola, called the story "repugnant" and assured families of her support, lamenting that "digital violence against women is a growing scourge."
Mi profundo rechazo ante este suceso repugnante y mi apoyo a las menores y sus familias. La violencia digital contra las mujeres es una lacra en auge. Desde la Junta de Extremadura vamos a poner en marcha una formación específica y continua para combatirla. https://t.co/8yQBj2OBbi
— María Guardiola (@MGuardiolaPP) September 18, 2023
AI is causing growing concern around the world because this technology can be used for malicious purposes such as in the case of pornographic deepfake. According to a 2019 study by Dutch AI company Sensity, 96% of fake online videos are non-consensual pornography and most of them depict women.