SFIS Fingerprint Identification Technology

What is AFIS?

AFIS is the acronym for Automated Fingerprint Identification System, a generic name for the very specialized system that is the processing heart of SFIS. Traditionally, the primary application of AFIS is law enforcement. Since the development of the AFIS in the late 1970’s, most states and major metropolitan areas have implemented AFIS systems for law enforcement.

AFIS is primarily a computational system, implementing two primary types of algorithms: one for finding and extracting the unique fingerprint characteristics and other topological information used in the matching process, and a second for actually matching the fingerprint information and determining whether any two fingerprints actually match. In SFIS, we have combined proven AFIS technology from Safran Morpho with fingerprint scanners from Crossmatch, as well as state-of-the-art hardware and software components from leading companies including Hewlett Packard and Informix. The result is a system that delivers exceptional capability and performance that is both highly reliable and easy to use.

Is SFIS the first?

Well, yes and no. The Los Angeles AFIRM system, which was implemented in 1992, was the first AFIS used in a welfare application. Based on the initial success of the program, AFIRM was expanded to six high-population counties in the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas, and was the impetus behind the decision to implement a statewide fingerprint imaging system.

Since the implementation of AFIRM, a number of states have implemented AFIS for prevention of welfare fraud. The identification methods and concepts of operation are very similar to SFIS in all of these states.