5 Common Questions About Fingerprinting

7 February 2023
 Categories: Law, Blog


Do you need to get fingerprinted in the near future for a background check? It's likely that you have some questions about fingerprinting before you have it done.

How Does Fingerprinting Work?

Fingerprinting is a unique way to identify a person that uses biometrics, which is done by recording the valleys and ridges that are on someone's fingers. This information is then compared to other fingerprints in a database to confirm who you are. As long as the fingerprints have been captured correctly, fingerprinting is an incredibly accurate way to identify someone.

Why Is Fingerprinting Necessary For A Background Check? 

Fingerprinting is used for background checks when someone wants to verify if you have a criminal record. If you were ever arrested and fingerprinted in the past, then your fingerprint will match the fingerprints on your criminal record. It's an easy way to identify if someone is who they say they are because other forms of identification can be forged. 

How Accurate Are Fingerprints? 

The accuracy of fingerprinting all depends on the method used and how clear the fingerprint is. Using the old fashion method of using ink and a pad of paper to record a fingerprint is not nearly as accurate as modern techniques that are used today. For example, there is a method known as live scan fingerprinting that does not involve ink at all. The process is all electronic and is much more accurate. It provides much faster results than traditional fingerprinting methods. 

What Other Methods Are Used For Fingerprinting

There are several methods to capture fingerprints. Optical fingerprinting is a process light to capture fingerprint information. This is done by shining a light onto the surface of the finger and capturing the reflections off the ridges and valleys. 

Capacitive fingerprinting detects the ridges and valleys by using electrical charges. It actually sends a small electrical charge through a person's fingers, and then the ridges and valleys of the fingerprints disrupt the charge and create an image of them. Thermal imaging is a method that records the fingerprint data by measuring the temperatures between all the ridges and valleys. 

Can Someone's Fingerprint Be Changed? 

It is not possible to change someone's fingerprint, but it is possible for it to be temporarily altered due to a variety of different factors. For example, having fingertips that have cuts or burns may cause an inaccurate reading, but the fingertips will eventually heal.

For more information, contact a company like A-1 Fingerprinting and Drug Screening.