DIGITAL IMAGE AUTHENTICATION
WHAT IS IMAGE AUTHENTICATION?
Digital image authentication helps determine whether images used as evidence have been modified or altered. As photo editing software and image compression grow more popular, digital image forensics is a necessary tool to determine authenticity. Not to mention, tampered images are always detectable through forensic image analysis.
THE 3 STAGES OF DIGITAL IMAGE AUTHENTICATION
We begin all image authentication investigations with a preliminary analysis analysis of the images used as evidence. This allows us to study the images before proceeding to more costly and detailed forensic testing. In addition, our forensic lab is able to bulk process digital images for an expedited turnaround if needed.
Throughout this stage of the digital image forensic process, we closely examine an image’s digital information. This determines if it contains similarities or differences with an original image. We are also able to determine if the image was created by the system as a 1st generation copy.
In addition, we perform a 4-part digital information test that analyzes an image’s camera specifications. This information includes footprints of photo editing software used to manipulate the digital image, such as Photoshop. This test can also detect malicious editing and tampering.
During this stage, we analyze physical aspects of the scene including lighting, scale and composition. We also analyze photographic conditions, such as focus, sharpness, and perspective.
Cloning or copying methods of physical images result in a loss in quality. If the quality of a digital image is too low, it lacks the necessary criteria to make an accurate identification of a suspect or object. Quality assessment is essential when preparing courtroom-ready formats, which include JPEG, BMP, TIFF, and PDF.
EXPERT WITNESS TESTIMONY
In conclusion, an expert can use digital image forensics to assist the court and determine the authenticity of an image. It is important to help the tier of fact understand the scientific analysis in a simple way.
Primeau Forensics can generate a formalized report outlining our conditions, authentication methodology, and opinions. This assists the trier of fact to make determinations about the images used as evidence. When we prepare for testimony, we anticipate all possible direct and cross examination questions.
Finally, our image forensic expert, Michael Primeau, has experience testifying as an image expert witness. He has testified in local and state courts across the United States and worked with lawyers around the world. Learn more about our expert witness services here.