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Fingerprint records normally contain impressions from the pad on the last joint of fingers and thumbs, although fingerprint cards also typically record portions of lower joint areas of the fingers.
Human fingerprints are detailed, nearly unique, difficult to alter, and durable over the life of an individual, making them suitable as long-term markers of human identity.
For example, the above set of prints would only need to be compared to other sets of fingerprints with a value of 3.
or hand print identification, is the process of comparing two instances of friction ridge skin impressions (see Minutiae), from human fingers or toes, or even the palm of the hand or sole of the foot, to determine whether these impressions could have come from the same individual.
The recovery of fingerprints from a crime scene is an important method of forensic science.
Fingerprints are easily deposited on suitable surfaces (such as glass or metal or polished stone) by the natural secretions of sweat from the eccrine glands that are present in epidermal ridges.
These are sometimes referred to as "Chanced Impressions".
Fingerprint identification, also referred to as individualization, involves an expert, or an expert computer system operating under threshold scoring rules, determining whether two friction ridge impressions are likely to have originated from the same finger or palm (or toe or sole).A "latent print" is the chance recording of friction ridges deposited on the surface of an object or a wall.Latent prints are invisible to the naked eye, whereas "patent prints" or "plastic prints" are viewable with the unaided eye.They may be employed by police or other authorities to identify individuals who wish to conceal their identity, or to identify people who are incapacitated or deceased and thus unable to identify themselves, as in the aftermath of a natural disaster.Fingerprint analysis, in use since the early 20th century, has led to many crimes being solved.