How Fingerprint Technology Works

Fingerprints have been used for over 100 years as a means of establishing the positive identification of an individual. Automated fingerprint identification technologies were pioneered in the late 1970's in parallel efforts by the FBI, the British Home Office and the Japanese National Police Agency. Today's fingerprint technologies range from large-scale distributed systems like SFIS to affordable consumer electronics designed for computer and facility access control.

These pages provide background information on fingerprint science and fingerprint identification technology.