Fake News, Adobe VoCo and Authenticating Evidence
For years, trial lawyers have had to deal with fake images created with Photoshop. Today, several new “fake” facts and evidence issues have evolved because of technology. All of this results in consumers being intentionally mislead and ending up uninformed.
A new product by Adobe named VoCo (not yet released) lets you edit recorded speech so that you can alter what a person actually said. This new technology is very cool but has the potential for allowing even more fake and misleading news, bad publicity for people and companies, and false evidence in the courtroom.
Watch this short video to listen to how well VoCo works.
While the upside and downside of VoCo are both unlimited, several protections we have from misuse in the legal system are concepts referred to as “foundation” and “authentication” under the evidence code.
Generally speaking, what this means is that before a recording can be admitted into evidence in a court of law, the person producing the purported evidence must show, using established and reliable methods, that the item is what he or she says it is. Concepts like chain of custody, totality of the circumstances, and familiarity with a person’s voice all come into play. Obviously, this last element may no longer be allowed once the VoCo tech is perfected and released to the public.
My take-a-away for not just lawyers, but anyone relying upon what they see, read or hear, is to always question the source of the content. Do your own due diligence and research when you hear, watch or see something on the news or online. There’s never anything wrong with being careful and questioning a source. In fact, it’s just the smart thing to do.