What is “deepfake” evidence?

On Behalf of | Jul 23, 2020 | Criminal Law

In Indiana civil and criminal courts, one thing has remained consistent over the decades. The introduction of clear and convincing evidence sways the opinions of judges and juries. However, technology has changed the world a great deal over the years. In many ways, technological innovations have been a positive force. Unfortunately, technological advancements also open the door to the creation of fake evidence.

Decades ago, cutting multiple reel-to-reel audio sources to create a doctored recording would be a dubious endeavor. An expert could likely point out the analog cuts to reveal a forgery. Today, digital technology makes identifying “deepfake” evidence much more challenging. Audio, video and images of questionable origins may find their way into a courtroom.

Advancements in technology tend to build upon one another. Many programs now come with a level of machine learning and artificial intelligence. When employed to create video images, for example, these programs might work wonders to make something altered seem authentic. Sadly, such technological marvels could find their way into schemes to fool a jury.

Interestingly, a California appeals court ruled that an online image should never have been admitted as evidence because no witness or expert could prove its authenticity. However, not every appeals court delivers rulings that are similar to the one issued in California’s 2nd District.

Will deepfake evidence become a trend? Concerns exist about the eventual availability of inexpensive and sophisticated technology. Could the average person produce brilliant-looking and sounding altered audio, video and pictures with a smartphone app? Time will tell.

During a legal proceeding, an attorney could present many challenges to the evidence. Besides potentially questioning the authenticity of the evidence, a lawyer may suggest the evidence was illegally obtained depending upon the circumstances.

Anyone who is charged with a crime might find retaining qualified defense representation valuable. A criminal defense attorney may suggest a specific approach to the charges that a client might find agreeable.