Deepfakes pose growing threat to global organisations - report
Jumio, the provider of automated, end-to-end identity proofing, risk assessment and compliance solutions, has released the Jumio 2023 Online Identity Study, the second instalment of its annual global consumer research, conducted by Censuswide.
This year’s results highlight an understanding among consumers around how generative AI and deepfake technologies could accelerate identity fraud, and the subsequent need for digital identities for online verification and authentication. But consumers also appear to overestimate their ability to spot deepfakes, which can render them even more vulnerable to attack.
The study examined 8,055 adult consumers. Over two-thirds (67%) say they are aware of generative AI tools, such as ChatGPT, DALL-E and Lensa AI, which can produce fabricated content, including videos, images and audio. Awareness was highest among consumers in Singapore (87%) and lowest among those in the UK (56%).
Awareness of generative AI and deepfakes among consumers is high, with 52% of respondents believing they could detect a deepfake video. This sentiment reflects over-confidence on the part of consumers, given the reality that deepfakes have reached a level of sophistication that prevents detection by the naked eye.
This is concerning given that the Singapore Police Force found that impersonation scams cost SGD101.3 million in 2022, indicating that it may rise with increased levels of sophistication.
Jumio data also shows a steady uptick in the use of increasingly sophisticated deepfakes across the globe and across industries, with a heavier presence in the payments and crypto sectors.
Stuart Wells, Jumio’s Chief Technology Officer, comments, “A lot of people seem to think they can spot a deepfake. While there are certainly tell-tale signs to look for, deepfakes are getting exponentially better all the time and are becoming increasingly difficult to detect without the aid of AI.
“While AI-powered technology will increasingly be required by businesses to spot and protect their networks and customers from deepfakes, consumers can protect themselves by treating provocative images, videos and audio with skepticism. Some quick research will usually uncover whether it’s a fake or not.”
As consumers become more aware of these technologies, there is also an emerging understanding of how they could be used to fuel identity theft, the survey finds.
More than half (57%) believe that online identity theft will become easier as a result, and consumers in Singapore showed the highest level of understanding of their potential harmful use (73%).
Philipp Pointner, Jumio’s Chief of Digital Identity, comments, “Organisations have a duty to educate their customers on the nuances of generative AI technologies to help them develop more realistic expectations of their ability to detect deepfakes.
“At the same time, even the best education will never be able to completely stop a fraudster’s use of evolving technologies. Online organisations must look to implement multimodal, biometric-based verification systems that can detect deepfakes and prevent stolen personal information from being used.
"Encouragingly, our research indicated strong consumer appetite for this form of identity verification, which businesses should act on fast.”
The survey found that over two-thirds (68%) of consumers are open to using a digital identity to verify themselves online. The top sectors where they would prefer a digital identity over a physical ID (like a driver’s license or passport) are financial services (43%), government (38%) and healthcare (35%).