What Is Fingerprinting And How It Used For?

What Is Fingerprinting And How It Used For?

Nowadays, we observe with total normality that a person puts his finger on his mobile to use it. A reality that a few years ago could have been unthinkable. This functionality is possible thanks to fingerprinting, a traditionally used technology almost exclusively in police investigations. Today, it has made its way into our day-to-day life due to electronic devices.

How To Identify Ourselves By Hands And Feet

Suppose the palm of the hands or feet is observed. In that case, it can be verified that characteristic drawings are formed on the skin composed of reliefs (called papillary ridges) separated by spaces (called interpapillary grooves). The study and classification of the picture created by the papillary ridges and the interpapillary grooves allow us to identify people. They are capable of recognizing us through the palms of our hands, the soles of our feet or the last phalanges of our fingers. In the latter case, we would be talking about fingerprinting.

What Is A Fingerprint

Fingerprinting is a branch and is the technical procedure that allows the papillary ridges of the last phalanx of the fingers to be associated with the person they belong to. This association is possible because our papillary ridges and interpapillary grooves respond to three basic principles:

  • They do not change over time. For example, suppose the impression of the papillary ridges and grooves is taken from an individual during his childhood and compared with the one obtained once he has reached adulthood. In that case, it will be observed that the traces remain identical regardless of the alterations typical of growth, such as size.
  • The papillary ridges present unique characteristics in each individual, so no two people share them.
  • They are immutable. That is, they cannot be modified. In case of injury, if it is slight, the tissue will regenerate without causing any change. On the other hand, in more severe injuries, such as burns, the affected part will be replaced by scar tissue.
  • Fingerprinting is, therefore, one of the most effective methods for identifying people. About its typology, three classes of dactylograms are distinguished.
  • Natural: the papillary ridges and grooves generated from birth in the last phalanx of the fingers.
  • Artificial occurs when a natural dactylogram is replicated on a card through ink.
  • Latent (better known as a fingerprint) is the mark caused when the papillary ridges and grooves come into contact with a surface, object or person.
  • Another form of dactyloscopy is the reconstruction through a mold of a person’s finger.

Application And Functions Of Fingerprinting

Fingerprinting has its main application in the forensic field, although it is increasingly being implemented as a security measure. Among the different applications of this branch, we can highlight:

  • Search for traces in scenarios or places where a criminal act has been committed.
  • Establish which people have been in that scenario.
  • Identify those who have committed the criminal act.
  • It also makes it possible to identify victims and ensure their identity, for example, in cases that cannot be recognized by other means or there is no record of their disappearance.
  • Issuance of identity documents.
  • Security measures. More and more intelligent security systems allow individuals to access certain rooms thanks to their fingerprints. In our day to day, a clear example is electronic devices that will enable unlocking only through the fingerprint of their owner.

Also Read: What Is The QR Code?


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