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July 22, 1998

UK START UP DEVELOPS IMAGE VERIFICATION TECHNOLOGY

By CBR Staff Writer

A small UK start-up claims to have developed a technology that could give more weight to photographic evidence presented in court. Cheltenham, Gloucestershire-based Signum Technologies Ltd has developed software, called VeriData, which can show if digital photographs have been tampered with after being taken at the scene of a crime. VeriData works by applying a pattern to the pixels that make the image, which are undetectable to the eye. If the pixel pattern is altered, when an image is changed or cropped, VeriData will highlight those areas. Signum wants its technology to be embedded into digital cameras and similar devices, so the verification process is carried out at inception, and can’t be loaded on to a PC and changed without detection. VeriData can also be applied to video and audio, but the company is concentrating on images at the moment, because it believes the greatest market potential is in this area. The company’s managing director Graham Shaw says considerable interest has been expressed by law enforcement organizations in both Europe and the US, and trials are taking place at the moment. Signum is also talking to the makers of digital cameras about embedding the technology. Signum is a privately held company established a year ago, funded by venture capitalists and sporting a staff of just six.

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