High-resolution photographs of a crime victim may help investigators discover their attacker, who is often reflected in the victim’s eyes.
British researchers found that blown up high-res images were relatively easy to read for participants. When asked to identify the photographer or someone standing next to the photographer, participants could identify a familiar face 84% of the time and a non-familiar face 71 percent of the time by comparing them to mugshots.
"The pupil of the eye is like a black mirror,” study author Dr. Rob Jenkins, of the University of York, told NDTV. “To enhance the image, you have to zoom in and adjust the contrast. A face image that is recovered from a reflection in the subject's eye is about 30,000 times smaller than the subject's face."
"Our findings thus highlight the remarkable robustness of human face recognition, as well as the untapped potential of high-resolution photography," he added.
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In crimes like kidnapping and child sex abuse, where photos of the victims are often taken, the images could identify the perpetrators.
"For now, our findings suggest a novel application for high-resolution photography: for crimes in which victims are photographed, corneal image analysis could be useful for identifying perpetrators," the study said.
In large-scale crime, like human trafficking, pictures could reveal a network of criminals and their associates.
A child pornography probe in Toronto, Canada, in November led to the arrest of 348 people. They were charged with running an international child pornography ring centered around a Toronto-based film company, which distributed child pornography across the world.