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Missouri House debates ‘Taylor Swift Act' for sharing 'intimate digital depictions'

Taylor Swift
Posted at 12:32 PM, Mar 11, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Missouri House of Representatives committee is set to debate Tuesday a bill that would allow civil action against anyone who shares “intimate digital depictions” without the consent of the person shown in the photo.

The legislation, titled the “Taylor Swift Act” was introduced late January by Rep. Adam Schwadron (R - St. Charles) in reaction to the circulation of fake AI-generated images of the global pop star.

LINK | Read a summary of the legislation

“I figured using her notoriety and the issue at the time would help increase awareness around this issue,” Schwadron told Show Me Today's Anthony Morabith in an interview posted Monday. “As a celebrity, she was able to get her images removed from the website, whereas normal folks or regular Missourians would not have such luxuries afforded to them.”

The Missouri House Special Committee on Innovation and Technology is set to take up the bill in a hearing at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, March 12.

Schwadron said he wasn’t aware of any examples of deep fake images being distributed in the same way in Missouri, but believes it’s probably has already happened and hasn’t yet been reported.

“This is an exploding phenomenon and I want to make sure we are out in front of it,” he said.

Under the legislation, anyone who shares an “intimate digital depiction” without the consent of the person, and the person who is sharing the image “recklessly disregards” that the person shown in the image didn’t provide consent, could face civil action.

The bill would create the offense of “disclosure of an intimate digital depiction,” with the intent “to harass, annoy, threaten, alarm, or cause harm to the depicted individual; or with the actual knowledge that, or reckless disregard for whether, such disclosure or threatened disclosure will cause harm to the depicted individual.”

The bill also considers penalties for violators, which could include a class E or C felony if certain conditions are met.

The current legislation could hold “interactive computer services” harmless for attempting to restrict access.

If you have any information about a crime, you may contact your local police department directly. But if you want or need to remain anonymous, you should contact the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers Tips Hotline by calling 816-474-TIPS (8477), submitting the tip online or through the free mobile app at P3Tips.com. Depending on your tip, Crime Stoppers could offer you a cash reward.

Annual homicide details and data for the Kansas City area are available through the KSHB 41 News Homicide Tracker, which was launched in 2015. Read the KSHB 41 News Mug Shot Policy.