Google has filed lawsuits against two separate groups of scammers in an effort to protect its users from malware by using the Bard AI chatbot as a decoy, and set a legal precedent to help others fight fraudsters on the internet.
In a blog post published by the company’s General Counsel Halimah DeLaine Prado, Google says it is going after people impersonating Bard, as well as those abusing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
According to the report, the first group built Bard “apps” that were riddled with malware. Bard is, as Google explains it, a “freely available generative AI tool that requires no downloading.” The group then ran ads promoting these apps and used the malware to compromise victims’ social media accounts.
The importance of clear rules
Since April, Google says it has filed about 300 takedowns related to this group.
“We are seeking an injunction to stop the scammers from setting up domains like this and allow us to disable them from US domain registrars,” Google said. “If successful, this will act as a deterrent and provide a clear mechanism to prevent similar scams in the future.”
The second group created dozens of Google accounts and used them to file thousands of false copyright claims against their competitors, essentially abusing the DMCA. As a result, more than 100,000 websites from various companies were taken offline, costing affected companies millions of dollars and thousands of hours of wasted employee time, Google said.
“We hope our lawsuit will not only put an end to this activity, but also deter others and raise awareness of the harm fraudulent takedowns can have on small businesses across the country.”
“Clear rules against fraud, scams and intimidation are important – no matter how new the situation – and we want to do our part to protect the people who use the internet from abuse,” the company concluded.