Fake Videos No Worry for Courts, Say Forensic Video Experts

Any fear that fake videos could be mistakenly used as evidence is a “fantasy.”
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WHITESBORO, Texas—The increasing use of computer-generated fake videos, otherwise known as “Deep Fake” video technology, has some worried about its potential impact on federal institutions. A recent Washington Post article highlighted how such videos could be used to mislead votes during the 2020 presidential election, while others fear that they could eventually be weaponized as evidence in forensic cases.

Grant Fredericks

Grant Fredericks

This fear is labeled a fantasy by forensic video analysts. One such expert, Grant Fredericks, president of Forensic Video Solutions, believes that Deep Fakes will be obvious to those looking for them and that they “pose no threat in civil and criminal court cases at this time.”

All evidence used in a court case has to be authenticated. Fake video, according to Fredericks, cannot be authenticated and would be easily dismissed as a result, in large part due to the advanced video analysis tools currently available. Key elements that need to authenticated include who created the video, when it was created and with what technology. “If you can’t answer those questions with supportive evidence,” Fredericks says, “the video would never be admitted in court.”

Fredericks is one of the architects of the Law Enforcement & Emergency Services Video Association (LEVA), which conducts video forensics training around the world and features hundreds of certified analysts.