Deepfake Technology

Facing reality? Law enforcement and the challenge of deepfakes

Facing reality? Law enforcement and the challenge of deepfakes’ is the first report produced through the Observatory function of the Europol Innovation Lab. The Europol Innovation Lab’s Observatory function monitors technological developments that are relevant for law enforcement and reports on the risks, threats and opportunities of these emerging technologies.

The report provides a detailed overview of the criminal use of deepfake technology, including their potential use in serious crimes such as CEO fraud, evidence tampering, and the production of non-consensual pornography. It also elaborates on the challenges faced by law enforcement in detecting and preventing the nefarious use of deepfakes. It shows that law enforcement, online service providers and other organisations need to develop their policies and invest in detection as well as prevention solutions for misinformation, and policymakers need to adapt to the changing technological reality as well.

Contributing to this report, law enforcement practitioners helped identify a series of challenges that they will have to contend within the decade ahead. In particular, they identified risks associated with digital transformation, the adoption and deployment of new technologies, the abuse of emerging technology by criminals, accommodating new ways of working and maintaining trust in the face of an increase of disinformation. The findings of this report are based on extensive desk research and in-depth consultation with law enforcement experts through strategic foresight activities. These strategic foresight and scenario methods are one means by which the Europol Innovation Lab researches and prepares for the potential impact of new technologies on law enforcement.