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Forensics technology helps INTERPOL to fight child exploitation

A typical scene from a TV cop show: a bored policeman scrolls through hours of video until, suddenly, he spots a crucial piece of evidence. Two SMEs have teamed up with a research institute to help Interpol to speed up investigations.

Published on: 2013-04-08
Videntifier Technologies is an Icelandic company whose technology helps international police forces investigating child abuse and terrorist cases. It specialises in helping law enforcement to find images and video content on a suspect's hard drive. Videntifier’s technology combines high-end computer vision techniques with blazingly fast database search, to automatically categorise the entire contents of a hard drive at the click of a button. ‘The traditional method is just hire lots of people and do it manually,’ says Videntifier CEO Herwig Lejsek. ‘There was a case in Iceland in 2007 where they had 5 people watching video content for 5 months.’ Videndifier can scan an hour of video in 30 seconds.
At the core of the system is a huge database of visual fingerprints from 80,000 hours of movies, TV shows and music videos. A visual fingerprint is a representation of a single point within a video frame capturing mathematical characteristics related to contrast and shape. A set of these fingerprints capture the coarse shapes of the structures inside an image. The database currently contains over 6 billion fingerprints, which can be matched even if the scanned video has been distorted or compressed or if the colours and contrast have been changed. The system can also find malicious content which a suspect has tried to hide within another video.
Videntifier can identify between 70 and 80% of the contents of an average hard drive as a particular movie or TV show, a terrorist propaganda video or a scene of child abuse. It currently collaborates with police forces in Iceland, Poland and the UK. In Iceland, the company’s technology has even become a standard part of the investigative workflow.
In the frame of the Eurostars funding programme, Videntifier teamed up with UK company Forensic Pathways, and the French research institute IRISA. ‘Forensic Pathways identifies images or video which have been taken with the same camera so you can prove that images of different children at different locations are taken by the same camera,’ Lejsek explains. ‘The goal was to create a prototype combining our both products.’ 
Interpol, the world’s largest International police organisation, will be the first customer of that integrated product. ‘We closed a deal with Interpol to bring the technology into the International Child Sexual Exploitation Database. This is the biggest deal we have ever done. One of the goals of this project is to allow police forces from around the world to share and identify known child abuse content and verify if the victim has already been discovered or the perpetrator already caught.’ The system is expected to be deployed at Interpol by the end of 2013.
As a consequence of its participation in Eurostars, Lejsek met Jan Dunnink, a Dutch business angel, at an investor pitch co-organised by the programme, and Videntifier has recently landed an investment from Dunnink’s fund Arinco B.V.

eureka label
Main contact
Videntifier Technologies
Kjarrvegur 2
108 Reykjavík
Tel. (+354) 445-4-544
Email aW5mb0B2aWRlbnRpZmllci5jb20=
Countries involved
Iceland, France, United Kingdom

Cost > EUR 1,2 million
Duration > 31 months