Taiwanese arrested, jailed for creating and selling deepfake pornography

Occurred: October 2021

Chu Yu-chen (朱玉宸), 26, aka 'Xiaoyu', and his assistant, Chuang Hsin-jui (莊炘睿), were arrested for creating, selling and distributing over 100 porn videos of Taiwanese celebrities and politicians. 

According to Taiwan's Criminal Investigation Bureau, the three made over NTD 13 million in a past year by superimposing peoples' faces without their consent on to existing pornographic videos using deepfake technology.

In addition to selling deepfakes of public figures on a series of Telegram groups, Chu is said to have accepted commissions to make deepfake videos of lesser-known individuals as a form of 'revenge porn.'

Kaohsiung City Councilor Huang Jie (黃捷), one of the people whose faces were used in the videos without their consent, told the Taipei Times that she "felt disgusted and afraid when she saw the videos herself, and indicated that the videos had caused real harm and humiliation to the victims."

July 2022. Chu and Chuang were sentenced to five years and six months and three years and eight months in prison respectively for violations of Taiwan's Personal Data Protection Act. The sentences were commutable to fines. 

Twenty-one other victims filed civil lawsuits seeking financial compensation from Chu and Chuang for misuse of their likenesses. 

January 2023. Taiwan's national legislature passed legislation that made the production and spread of fake or manipulated images and video for profit a crime punishable by up to seven years in prison. 

The amendments to the Criminal Code included an additional article dedicated to a new form of crime using artificial intelligence — deepfakes — which involve inserting the likeness of a person into an existing image or video.

The legislation had been proposed by politician Kao Chia-yu (高嘉瑜), also a victim of Xiaoyu.

System 🤖

Operator: Chu Yu-chen ('Xiaoyu')
Developer: Chu Yu-chen ('Xiaoyu')

Country: Taiwan

Sector: Media/entertainment/sports/arts

Purpose: Create entertainment

Technology: Deepfake - video; Generative adversarial network (GAN); Neural network; Deep learning; Machine learning 

Issue: Privacy; Ethics
Transparency: Privacy

Investigations, assessments, audits 🧐

Page info
Type: Incident
Published: October 2021
Last updated: January 2023