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Stuck on You: Research Shows Fingerprint Accuracy Stays the Same Over Time

By MS­Today

July 2, 2015

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New research by Michigan State University professor Anil Jain proves the fingerprint pattern is persistent over time.

Jain and former Ph.D. student Soweon Yoon studied the fingerprint records of more than 15,000 subjects apprehended multiple times by Michigan State Police over a span of five to 12 years. They found fingerprint recognition accuracy did not change even as the time between two fingerprints being compared increased. "We have now determined, with multilevel statistical modeling, that fingerprint recognition accuracy remains stable over time," Jain says.

Fingerprints have been used to identify people for more than 100 years, but there is little scientific evidence to show they are infallible personal identifiers. Jain and Yoon say they have conducted the largest and most thorough study of the persistence of the Automated Fingerprint Identification Systems' accuracy. They say the findings will be very important for law enforcement and forensic science.

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