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Microsoft's private preview of Content Integrity tools expands to fight election deepfakes

Microsoft logo lit up by its halo

The 2024 US presidential campaign is not the only major election that's happening in the world this year. Indeed, the European Union will hold its own parliamentary elections in 2024, and a number of major European countries will hold either national or major regional elections this year as well.

Microsoft has been warning that voters in the 2024 elections could be influenced by hostile nations and their state-sponsored hacker groups with the use of AI-generated "deepfake" images. In November 2023, the company announced it would launch its Content Integrity tools for US political campaigns in a private preview. Those parties would be able to use the tools to watermark authentic election content digitally. Microsoft said at the time that a private preview of those tools would launch in the spring of 2024.

This week, Microsoft announced in a blog post that it will now expand the private preview of its Content Integrity tools so they could also be used by European Union political parties, along with election campaigns around the world. It will also be made available to news organizations worldwide.

The tools use private websites and mobile apps so that political parties, election campaigns, and media groups can upload their authentic images, audio, and videos and place the Content Credentials digital watermark and data in that content. There's also a public website so that anyone can find out if any election-based content they see has the Content Credentials watermark.

The blog post added:

While we recognize that Content Credentials alone are not a panacea to solve the problem of deepfakes, they are a critical component of a defense strategy for trusted media. Protecting access to indicators of authenticity is just one key step as we deliver on our commitments to help protect elections around the world.

There's no word on when these new election tools will come out of their public preview stage.

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