Hidden “Signature” in Online Photos Could Help Nab Child Abusers

Police may soon have a new way to catch pedophiles who distribute child abuse photos anonymously online. The technology could also help law enforcement agencies in other ways, such as identifying smartphone thieves who take pictures with the stolen gadgets and then post their snapshots on the Internet.

Riccardo Satta, scientific project officer of the European Commission Joint Research Centre’s Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen, described the work at the Computers, Privacy and Data Protection Conference in Brussels held in January. The key is the ability to spot a unique, unremovable pattern—or signature—that each digital camera imprints on photographs. By comparing the signature from a specific camera with those found in images posted to social media, a forensic investigator would be able to establish that all the images had been taken by the same camera. Additional contextual information pointing to the photographer can help investigators narrow in on the culprit…

Read More (Scientific American)

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