Fingerprints are the most reliable source of a person’s identity. No two fingerprints are identical among millions of comparisons.
It is estimated that the chance of these fingerprints being identical is 1: 64 billion population.
Hence there is absolutely no chance of identical fingerprints as the human population is still only around 7 billion.
Fingerprint recognition usage has been increasing official transactions, employment, criminal identification, etc.
Even fingerprint recognition passwords for computers, mobile phones and a fingerprint scanner at ATMs for money transactions have become common. The fingerprint verification for emigration and embassy purposes is also widely used.
This is possible as the process of fingerprint recognition has become very easier and faster due to the development of a fingerprint scanner as an important biometric system.
The Fingerprint Recognition is purely based on the pattern of a fingerprint that consists of
1. The whole impression of the finger ventral surface.
2. The ridges in the ventral surface of the finger.
3. Bifurcations in ridges.
4. Horizontal cuts or breaks over the ridges.
5. The minutiae points.
Fingerprints are identified by.
♠ Just seeing the impression with the naked eye using parameters like
a) The shape of fingerprint,
b) Which finger the print belongs to i.e index or thumb, etc.
c) Length of the print.
d) Width of the print.
e) The pattern of ridge formation i.e. whorl, arch, or loop type on the finger.
For details see ridge patterns in fingerprints
These above parameters easily help compare and recognize most fingerprints. But for additional assurance and accuracy, we also rely on comparing the ridges and minutia points on the finger.
The fingerprint security system works by an emphasis on the ridges and minutiae.
Ridges: As you can see in the image above, there are many continuous and curvy lines called ridges. These ridges are mostly never the same in any two fingers of the population. These ridges travel all over the fingerprint and even may bifurcate or have diversions or sudden breaks.
Minutiae: These are small spots or gaps near the bifurcation of the ridges. These are many and randomly distributed at various places on the fingerprint.
Fingerprint Ridge verification:
This is done by comparing the ridges in terms of the shape of whorls at the center of a finger, by matching the tangles in ridges or by the length of the ridges, etc.
Ridge verification is done in terms of the comparing curve pattern, the length of ridge per defined millimeter or centimeter, etc.
Fingerprint minutiae verification
Minutiae or small bifurcation or gaps in between ridges make fingerprints even more distinct. This makes forgery even tougher on matching two fingerprints. Because the minutiae points in a fingerprint are distributed in such a way that in the visual circle made on the fingerprint, the minutiae are distributed at different radius and position in the circle. Even the number of minutiae vary for two fingerprints on verification.
Other contributing factors to the personal identity of the fingerprint are.
- The cuts or lines on the finger.
- The shape of the finger.
- The pressure applied during fingerprint impression etc.
In the case of criminal investigations, the fingerprints are used to point out those involved. Though there would be multiple fingerprints, still it is possible to identify those responsibly. This identification is done by collecting the samples and cross-checking the following
- The differences in the whorls of ridges on the finger.
- The finger shapes like length, width.
- The cuts and cross lines over the finger ridges.
- The ridge patterns i.e. their style, curves, and their length.
- Minutiae points number and their position on the fingerprint.
- The actual finger i.e. is it thumbs or index finger etc.