US Police Devices Firm Explores Blockchain to Fight Deepfake Videos

Leading technology manufacturer for United States law enforcement Axon Enterprise Inc. is exploring new data tracking technologies, including blockchain, for its body cameras.

Verifying police footage

The impetus behind Axon’s interest in emerging technologies is public and government concerns about “deepfake” videos, Reuters reported on Oct. 3. Deepfake videos are produced using a particular type of artificial intelligence (AI) making them look and sound like the real thing. 

This technology causes a great apprehension that bad actors can easily manipulate videos to discredit an individual. This is obviously of major concern for police wearing body cameras. Axon is looking into using blockchain to verify the authenticity of police body-cam footage.

In its new generation of cameras, Axon includes a secure digital signature to help track provenance of videos. “Axon recognizes the threat posed by ‘deepfakes’ to cause general mistrust in the integrity of any video, including body-worn camera videos,” Axon’s spokesperson told Reuters.

Blockchain and AI lead the way

Blockchain and AI are now widely used by enterprises to improve their internal processes and products. In a dedicated analysis for Cointelegraph, Julia Magas wrote that by being able to continuously analyze data under a strict protocol required for achieving desired results, AI leads the way by allowing data to be properly stratified and shared.

Blockchain lends its characteristics to make sure the data is handled in an environment that is safe from external interference, as well as tampering of data ownership and sequence.

On the government level, The European Union is increasing the amount of data that can be reused as raw material for AI and blockchain projects. Alexandru Petrescu, Romania’s minister for communications, said:

“These rules are a real enabler for artificial intelligence and will help Europe to become a world leader in this crucial area. They will bolster the EU digital industry, especially smaller companies and startups, which would not otherwise have access to all the data they need to innovate and expand.”