Photo Fakery Tackled By FourMatch: Software That Tells You When The Camera Lies

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Fourandsix Technologies has launched FourMatch, a software extension for Photoshop CS5/CS6 that analyses the authenticity of JPEG images.

The software doesn’t analyse the image itself — those abilities will be coming in later tools — but rather sifts through the file metadata to determine whether it matches the original image capture.

Playing around with the veracity of images — to make it look like you’re best buddies with Justin Timberlake, say, or to add one more missile than you actually have in your arsenal — has of course never been easier (although fake photos are pretty much as old as cameras, as Fourandsix’s fascinating Photo Tampering Gallery underlines).

The startup, which is currently self-funded, sees a market for its fake flagging software in law enforcement — combating crimes such as child exploitation — and for legal professionals.

“Establishing the veracity of images allows law enforcement to focus its limited resources on investigating crimes against children on the Internet,” noted Michelle Collins, Vice President of the Exploited Children Division at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, in a supporting statement.

FourMatch is available immediately via the company’s website – and is being priced at $890. A company spokesman told me Fourandsix plans to develop a suite of products, including tools that will be able to flag up evidence of photo-editing or “subtle errors in realism.”

Fourandsix was co-founded last year by Kevin Connor, the former VP of product management of  Adobe’s Photoshop team, and image forensics scientist Hany Farid who has been conducting research into image manipulation for about a decade.