Boffins discover digital-camera 'fingerprints'
Pictures reveal make and model
If you recently murdered someone and took a picture of the victim as a little memento, you’d be wise to ditch the camera. Because imaging boffins have developed a way of identifying a camera’s particulars from its pictures.
Scientists at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Polytechnic University, New York said that by retracing the steps each digital camera uses to create a picture, they’re able to identify the make and model of snapper used.
The process involves analysis of a camera’s “demosaicing” image processing software, used to convert the output of the CCD into a photo. Because this software is unique to each camera model, an algorithm can be created to unpick the demosaicing operation, revealing the make and model used.
Mark Pollitt, a former FBI crime lab scientist, told New Scientist that the process could potentially be used to identify when and where a camera was purchased.
Such knowledge would enable police to retrieve security camera footage from a specific camera retailer, which might identify the suspect.
Admittedly, the process isn’t as accurate as the unique stamp made on bullet casings by guns, but tests have shown the process to be around 90 per cent accurate.
All the fun is gone
Damn- first they took away our ability to make Xerox(c) copies of currency, now the odd murderer / miscreant can't pause to take pictures of their handy work. Soon enough, the artistic expressions of the criminal mind will be completely hedged in by these folks, and it just won't be fun anymore to express one's self at all in a criminal enterprise...
Agreeing with post #1
Why not check the EXIF data. Basic cameras have the date, time, make and model... Better cameras often include the owners name too!
Seems a waste of time to develop software to work out something that's present 99% of the time anyway.
90% is pretty damn impressive
when you consider how many different cameras there are. I wonder if it relies on having an unprocessed image, or if one scaled/edited would still work?
As most webbed/mailed images have been at least partly processed, having an untouched image more or less requires having the camera or computer of the photographer - in which case it's not that usefull to know that camera model!
Make & model
Wouldn't it be easier to look in the EXIF data?
Sure, it could be wiped/changed, but hey, any editing whatsoever will stymie any hope of forensic examination.