06/20/2008

the next biometric ID tattoo-ID

A Michigan State University researcher has created an automatic image retrieval system, whereby law enforcement agencies will be able to match scars, marks and tattoos to identify suspects and victims.

 

In a world filled with homeland security concerns, identity fraud and natural disasters, the need to establish the identity of an individual based on something other than a driver’s license or demographic and personal data is vital, according to Anil Jain, MSU University Distinguished Professor of computer science and engineering. “Identity is usually established using passports, licenses or personal identification numbers, but these are easily forged, lost or stolen.”

“A body can decompose quickly, particularly in adverse climate conditions, making it difficult to perform face or fingerprint identification,” Jain said. “Because tattoo pigments are deeply embedded in the skin, even severe skin burns often do not destroy tattoos. If there are distinguishing tattoos, it can be crucial evidence in identifying a victim.”

Jain’s team is continuing its research to improve the tattoo image matching performance in collaboration with the Michigan State Police Identification Section, which has provided him access to its large tattoo image database 

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