This is the first in a series of interviews with a number of our users that will share their story. If you are interested in being profiled, let us know. We would love to hear from you!
In this first post, we speak with Marco Fontani from FORLAB, one of the main laboratories in Italy specialized in image and video forensics. We started working together in the European project MAVEN and since then, we cooperate with FORLAB on several fronts, including the technology transfer from the world of research into practical applications.
Marco, tell us a bit about yourself. What is your background and your current role at FORLAB?
My background is mostly in academics. I have a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering and a PhD degree in Information Engineering and Sciences. I’ve authored and co-authored several publications on novel image, video and audio forensic algorithms. My current role at FORLAB includes a mix of consultancy and training plus some research activity (mostly carried out by following master/PhD students).
What made you decide to enter the field of multimedia forensics?
I’ve always been interested in multimedia security because multimedia content is much too easily trusted/relied upon. When I began my PhD in 2010, an important research project funded by the European Commission (REWIND project) was about to start, and I joined the research group of professor Barni to take part in this project. After the PhD, I thought it would be interesting to put my studies to work in practical cases. Hence I, together with other colleagues, pushed the growth of FORLAB, where the scientific and technological innovative results are transferred to the real needs of the forensic environment.
What would you say are the biggest challenges with multimedia digital evidence and investigating crimes?
In the age of terrorism, I believe the main challenges are related to: a) analysis and interpretation of massive data (e.g. images/videos shared through social networks, but also video surveillance footage captured by cameras spread in a city); b) poor quality of CCTV cameras, that makes recording useless in so many cases. Continue reading