Marinus Analytics releases facial recognition solution to combat human trafficking

Marinus Analytics, a Car­negie Mellon University spinoff startup known for creating anti-human trafficking tool TrafficJam, recently released a facial recognition solution that helps law enforcement find specific missing persons, according to a report by Trib Live.

Using FaceSearch, law enforcement officials are able to link a photo of a missing person to an image of a potential victim that has been seen on the deep web — hidden areas of the internet that are not typically indexed by Google and other search engines.

“FaceSearch has a huge opportunity for impact to cut down on the amount of hours police spend trying to find victims,” said Emily Kennedy, founder of Marinus Analytics. “We’re making the work that detectives do easier, more straightforward and quicker.”

Law enforcement officials say they can potentially use FaceSearch and other technologies to glimpse into the deep web and identify missing people based on their unique facial features.

“Sex trafficking is a business that is largely plied on the internet; it’s very technologically driven illegal industry,” said Darrin Turpin, a supervisory special agent with the FBI who works on human trafficking cases. We’re always eager for technological tools that will combat this threat.”

Due to the off-the-grid nature of the dark web and many criminals using fake aliases to disguise themselves, facial recognition technology will help to effectively match data that couldn’t otherwise be achieved with the naked eye, said Matt Trosan, an FBI supervisory intelligence analyst.

Kennedy said that Marinus Analytics will add more features in the future, such as the ability to identify specific pieces of furniture and a room’s layout to detect a victim’s location.

In its recent “Biometrics in Law Enforcement” (PDF) report, Biometrics Research Group Inc. projects that the global law enforcement biometrics market will grow to US$18 billion by 2020 from its 2015 value of US$7.5 billion.

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