Deepfake pornography could become an 'epidemic', expert warns 1 year ago

Deepfake pornography could become an 'epidemic', expert warns

"It's going to become the next epidemic of abuse."

A legal expert has warned that deepfake pornography could become the "next pandemic" and that there will be an "epidemic" of sexual abuse if changes aren't made to current laws in order to tackle the practice.


Deepfake pornography involves people using computer technology to map the faces of individuals on to sexually explicit material, with advances in technology making this more accessible for ordinary members of the public to do at home.

The BBC reports that one victims' charity has seen cases of people being victims of deepfake porn go up by a third each year since 2019.

Professor Clare McGlynn, who studies the law across the UK, says that deepfake technology has made it much easier for individuals to abuse and harass women, and that as a result the country could be facing an "epidemic of abuse."


Speaking to the BBC, Prof McGlynn explained that the law in Scotland was in a much better place to combat the rise in deepfake porn than the rest of the UK.

She said: "In England and Wales at the moment, the law just covers, I guess, what are real images. So an image or a video that's taken of someone and it's a sexual image.

"Scots legislation literally just says 'any image altered in any way'. So it's a very small number of words, but makes a huge difference because that's what covers fake porn.

"And that's what means someone can go and report this to the police and the police should investigate it and should take action."

Prof McGlynn went on to describe deepfake porn as potentially the "next pandemic."

"If we don't stop this now, we don't try and change things now, this is going to just become the next pandemic," she said.

"It's going to become the next epidemic of abuse."