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iProov 2021 Predictions: The Deepfakes Arms Race Will Intensify in 2021

vmblog 2021 prediction series 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2021.  Read them in this 13th annual series exclusive.

The Deepfakes Arms Race Will Intensify in 2021

By Andrew Bud, CEO and Founder of iProov

2020 was a year of great digital growth, where we saw many enterprises embrace digital transformation and digitization became the forefront of all business strategies.

However, these great strides also brought about an explosion in cybercrime. From Zoombombing to benefit fraud, the risks of not being able to verify identity online have become all too clear in 2020. Business leaders are quickly implementing preventative measures, such as biometric authentication, to combat these cyberthreats.

Our leadership team reviewed the biometric and digital landscape and compiled a few predictions we can anticipate for 2021 and beyond.

Online dating will be less risky with biometrics. Matchmaking sites will adopt biometric authentication to make it easier to distinguish deceptive dating practices such as catfishing. More than a quarter of dating website users were duped by fake personas over the past year. With face-to-face interaction greatly diminished in the pandemic, people of all ages are going online, not just to find love but also to socialize and connect with other humans at a safe distance.

Andrew Bud, Founder and CEO, iProov

The deepfakes arms race will intensify in 2021. We can expect to see an explosion in deepfake usage in 2021. Some of it will be for light-hearted pranking-Joe Biden turning up to family Zoom calls, for example. Some will be for entertainment-the makers of South Park are using deepfakes for their weekly online satire show. But we'll also see deepfakes used for disinformation and fraud. Celebrities, politicians and other experts will be shown saying things that they've never said. Armies of "fake people" who look and sound real will share disinformation online at an enormous scale. It  has become increasingly simple to create a very high-quality, sophisticated deepfake. What was once a very complicated process, only possible in Hollywood movie studios, is now something that any teenager sitting in their bedroom can execute proficiently. The arms race between convincing deepfake technology and the technology companies, governments and businesses that are protecting society and democracy will intensify as a result.

Dr. Andrew Newell, Chief Scientific Officer 

Social networks will turn their attention to user authenticity. Goodbye, anonymous trolls. To curb abuse and rebuild trust, social media platforms will offer additional capabilities to verify their users. Like the blue checkmark on Twitter, online identities will become easily recognizable as genuine. Currently this type of confirmation is a manual process reserved for high-profile accounts in the public interest. To automate verification and extend a badge of trust to more users, social media platforms will need to deploy strong, irrefutable authentication that a user is a real human being. Biometrics offer the effortless usability and accuracy of authentication that will be needed to do this at scale. Informed choice and consent will help to allay privacy concerns and objections.  

Luke Moore, SVP of Revenue, iProov

Temporary changes to healthcare will become permanent. Video doctor visits, same-day prescription home deliveries and online symptom checks are just some of the emergency measures put in place to provide safe patient access to medical services during the pandemic. Laws were temporarily relaxed to allow for quick innovations that will most likely become a permanent fixture of modern healthcare. But these conveniences cannot become commonplace without putting some additional safety and privacy measures in place. One example is using remote biometric identification to protect patient privacy, verify identity and prevent abuse of services, such as prescription management.

Andrew Bud, Founder and CEO, iProov

The U.S. will take concrete steps towards instituting government-backed digital identities, both private and public. Despite being the birthplace of technology innovation, the U.S. is lagging in digitization. There is no centralized, trustworthy source of online identification. The COVID pandemic has highlighted two significant issues with this: first, the dependence on physical document checks to open bank accounts or access government services, when technology can now verify identity better than humans; and, second, the inability to prevent fraud when government support programs are ramped up to cope with crises. Government-backed digital identities will allow banks and other institutions to securely verify the identity of customers and citizens online, giving those individuals access to a broader range of services, while cutting back on the risk of fraud.

Joe Palmer, President of iProov, Inc

There will be contactless border crossings on both sides of the Atlantic by 2022. Contactless travel and curb-to-gate self-service will make border crossings safer and faster. The Department of Homeland Security plans to pilot an integrated solution from iProov to enable travelers to quickly transit remote border ports using  personal devices to report their entry and exit to Customs and Border Protection (CBP)-without requiring the direct engagement of a CBP officer in person or online-with a secure, privacy-focused mobile application. In Europe, as part of its railway innovation initiative, Eurostar is planning deployment of iProov biometric technology  to authenticate tickets via an optional walk-through biometric facial recognition corridor. Transportation experiences that offer contactless checks allow travelers to more easily practice health guidelines to maintain physical distance from others and minimize contact with high-touch surfaces.

Dominic Forrest, CTO, iProov

Biometrics will enable digital novices to connect and authenticate online. The pandemic is pushing everyone online, whether they like it or not. This should be treated as a real opportunity to provide older generations and technology newcomers with access to services that they wouldn't otherwise have had. In 2021, this will result in three things: firstly, the password, which has long been the bane of many people's online interactions, will be replaced by simpler authentication methods, such as biometrics. Secondly, if progress in this area continues to be made in 2021, it's possible that worldwide as many as 100 million people over the age of 70 will possess digital IDs, with the concept of the "digital power of attorney" very soon becoming a reality. Finally, many of the people using technology for the first time are also often the ones who are most susceptible to online manipulation. Seniors are about five times more likely to report financial loss due to tech support scams. Creating ways of safeguarding individuals online will move further up the agenda.

 Aarti Samani, SVP of Product & Marketing, iProov

This upcoming year we anticipate that more people will create digital identities and corporations will adopt user authentication to verify that people are who they say they are. We're hopeful that a more authenticated world will help minimize cyber-attacks and make for a better digital experience for all.


About the Author

Andrew Bud 

Andrew Bud, CEO and founder of iProov, believes in the importance of a protected and secure digital identity. In fact, Bud invented a new technology - Genuine Presence Assurance, which ensures that an online user is the right person (matching an identity in a trusted document), and a real person (and not a photograph being shown to the camera), authenticating right now - to solve the growing issue of establishing trust online and create a simple and secure way for people to access vital online services. Bud's patented solution allows users to authenticate themselves within seconds using facial biometrics while offering the highest levels of confidence that they are not an imposter or a cyber-attack using injected video or deepfakes.

Bud leads a team that has pioneered new technologies to authenticate people for ID verification and access to online services, protecting individuals and organizations from fraud. The iProov technology has been adopted around the globe, including by the Home Office in the UK, the Department of Homeland Security in the US, and by governments and banks across Europe and Asia. Bud is an experienced technology entrepreneur and leader, with a career spanning 30 years.
Published Monday, December 07, 2020 7:44 AM by David Marshall
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