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The National Child Victim Identification System (NCVIS), owned by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), is an application that assists Federal, State, local, and international law enforcement agencies during investigations of child sexual exploitation crimes, specifically those involving images of child exploitation. NCVIS maintains a repository of electronic images of child exploitation submitted by law enforcement agencies. These images may capture the faces or other identifying features of the victims of these crimes and the violators.
The primary purpose of NCVIS is to provide a means of connecting law enforcement personnel seeking to identify child victims in an image with law enforcement personnel who have already identified the victim in the image. A secondary purpose is to identify identical or substantially similar images to assist in identifying the child victims and to promote coordination among law enforcement agencies working on related investigations.
NCVIS contains three primary types of information: digital images submitted by law enforcement investigators, unique image signatures generated by the system, and limited information related to the law enforcement investigation. The digital images fall into two categories — confirmed and unconfirmed — depending on whether the image is of an actual, known (i.e., confirmed) victim or an unknown (i.e., unconfirmed) victim. Unique image signatures are generated for each image in NCVIS using various tools and are used to identify images that may be a match. Finally, NCVIS maintains a limited amount of case-related information about the criminal investigation for which the image was submitted. The case information does not include identifying information about the victim or violator such as their names, but does include limited victim information such as age at the time of violation and date of birth, if known.