Fingerprinting has a longer history than most people know. Tablets dating back to ancient times have been found in China with thumb prints used as signatures. In 14th century Persia, a government official was the first to put in writing the fact that no two fingerprints are alike.
Fingerprinting is associated with criminal investigations. However, individuals may be fingerprinted for other reasons. In fact, the first use of fingerprint identification in modern times was when William J. Herschel required Indian contractors to put their hand print to contract documents. The first use of fingerprinting by the police was somewhat later. Background checks generally require them and in the United States immigration routinely fingerprints legal immigrants. Fingerprinting may be required as part of a job application. Traditionally, fingerprinting was done using a special ink pad. The person's fingers would be rolled on the pad and then on a sheet of paper. The use of ink pads has faded away.
Nowadays, fingerprints are taken using a fingerprint scanner that reads fingerprints electronically. These digital scanners are used by law enforcement to take full sets of prints, but also for biometric identification. The price of the scanners has come down to the point where they are routinely attached to higher end laptops to allow foolproof personal identification. They are also used to secure doors.
Reading fingerprints used to be a highly technical skill. Forensic scientists would have to visually compare fingerprint patterns between samples. Nowadays, computer software is used for pattern recognition and fingerprinting is mostly automated. Forensic crime labs, also, use other forms of fingerprinting. DNA printing, which relies on an individual's personal genetic pattern, has proved to be a considerable advance in law enforcement. Individuals have been arrested, jailed and also released based off of DNA evidence.
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Fingerprinting services can be used for a variety of reasons. Police and banks often use fingerprinting services to distinctly verify the identity of an individual. Employers also use fingerprinting services to keep in records about their employees. Fingerprints provide a unique identification technique that can positively identify an individual. It is also used for criminal activity, to distinctly identify people that are committing crimes and breaking laws. DNA and fingerprints are excellent ways at knowing if a person is guilty of committing a crime. If the police are in the middle of an investigation, they will often ask those involved in a case to visit a fingerprinting lab to help rule them out as a suspect. Law regulations understand that fingerprints and DNA are personal information and not everyone wants to have them included in databases. Applications and other forms will be required when it comes to having your finger included in any type of database. Legal fingerprinting services can often lead to an arrest, which is where a mug shot will be taken any further investigating will be done. Look online or in a directory to find a fingerprinting service that is near you for your needs.