As part of the organization’s ongoing efforts to end cybercrime, Europol launched a crowdsourcing initiative called “Trace an Object.” Europol, the law enforcement agency that exists to provide support to EU member states, launched “Trace an Object” as an extension of ongoing investigations into child abuse. In essence, Europol will upload images that connect to unsolved child abuse cases—the images may contain objects or visual cues recognizable only by certain members of the public.
For example, the pictures might contain items identifiable by people from a particular region or even even as specific as a city or town. Shopping bags from local businesses or groceries. A unique style of wallpaper. Even “a shampoo bottle, a magazine cover or even wallpaper,” the Europol press release explained. “The most innocent clues can sometimes help crack a case. The objects are all taken from the background of an image with sexually explicit material involving minors.”
“Law enforcement all over the world is working closely together to identify as many offenders and victims as possible,” Europol explained. “This identification process is often very complex and the identification of small objects in the background of these images