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Three minors charged after using images of classmates to create AI-generated pornography
Mallorca

Three minors charged after using images of classmates to create AI-generated pornography

Numerous pupils from various secondary schools in Mallorca received files with photos of three 14-year-old girls altered using artificial intelligence

Melchor Sáiz-Pardo

Madrid

Friday, 12 April 2024, 14:40

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Guardia Civil have charged three Mallorcan teenagers, aged between 14 and 16, for manipulating images of several of their classmates and planting them in pornographic artificial intelligence-generated material online.

According to the newspaper Última Hora, they took images from the girls' social media pages and manipulated them to appear as if they were in a pornographic shoot - they then distributed the content via social media where other students from the school in the town of Felanitx saw them.

Several of the parents of the girls who were victims in the montages filed a complaint with Guardia Civil in Felanitx last weekend. In the complaint, it was reported that numerous students of secondary schools in the area had received images via WhatsApp, in which three girls appeared in a gymnasium in pornographic scenes.

The investigation found the 14-year-old girls' faces had been stolen from photos they had uploaded to Instagram and then, with the help of artificial intelligence software, inserted into a completely lifelike sexual sequence, to the point where, according to investigators, it was virtually impossible to determine the manipulation of the images.

The officers, who immediately opened an investigation into a child pornography case, soon focused their search on the victims' schoolmates, until they identified the three minors. One of them is 14 years old and cannot be charged with any criminal offence.

The juvenile prosecutor's office has opened proceedings against the youngsters, who have already been summoned to testify, as well as several witnesses.

No liability

Cases like this have occurred before in other parts of Spain, such as Zaragoza and Badajoz. Following these cases, experts in criminal law said the companies that own the applications used to recreate fake nudes would not be criminally liable, but the Spanish Data Protection Agency could take administrative action for not acting to prevent this type of use.

The senate approved in October a Partido Popular motion advocating broadening the legal definition of child pornography to criminalise AI-generated images depicting minors in sexually explicit conduct or affecting their privacy.

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