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How will you find out that a certain camera belongs to a criminal? Well, Dutch computer scientists have developed a system to analyze noise produced by individual cameras to help law enforcement fight child exploitation, using forensic tools to analyze digital content from the cameras. 

According to, the scientists have formed a method of extracting and classifying the noise created by an image or a video that reveals the “fingerprint” of the camera, since each camera has some imperfections in its embedded sensors. 

“You could compare it to the specific grooves on a fired bullet,” says George Azzopardi, assistant professor in the Information Systems research group at the Bernoulli Institute for Mathematics, Computer Science, and Artificial Intelligence at the University of Groningen in The Netherlands. “Each firearm produces a specific pattern on the bullet, so forensic experts can match a bullet found at a crime scene to a specific firearm, or link two bullets found at different crime scenes to the same weapon.”

Perhaps camera noise is an underused resource of information that can be used to fight other forms of crime as well.