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Safeguard against 'deep-fake videos:' Duquette

By Tony Poland, Associate Editor

Ryan Duquette, principal of Oakville-based Hexigent Consulting, tells the CBC that the proliferation of "deep-fake videos" is a warning to be vigilant about the photographs you post online.

He says, in this era of advancing technology, people need to be more mindful about the content they're sharing online.

“We have known for years that pictures could be easily manipulated ... but videos have always been a lot harder to manipulate. It’s even challenging our investigations to rely on the information that we see in videos,” Duquette says.

“I have always been a proponent of explaining to people you should be careful about how much information that you put out on the web, and how many pictures you put out there.”

CBC reports that artificial intelligence technology is being used to make fake pornographic videos that wind up on the internet. While people may realize a video is bogus, it is still embarrassing for the victim to have to explain that it is a manipulation, the news organization says.

The videos are not limited to porn, CBC reports, pointing to an instance in Belgium last summer where citizens reacted in anger after a deep fake of the U.S. president implored them to withdraw from the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

The fear is the technology is improving to the point where it could one day be used to target anyone and while large companies and celebrities may be able to afford the cost of disputing the fakes, others might not, CBC reports.

“For your average person, that is probably not much of an option because I would assume some of these services would be costly, but most of the technology and social media platforms are also building in the technologies to help stop this,” Duquette says. “But the horse has left the barn at that point. The video is already out there.”

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