Fingerprint Biometrics: Unlocking the Future of Identity Verification.

Fingerprint Examination Karunya S todayNovember 21, 2023

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The use of fingerprint biometrics has become a game-changer in a world where digital security is crucial. This fast growing technology has completely changed the identity verification by providing a safe and practical way to access devices, systems, and private information. In this blog article, we investigate the interesting field of fingerprint biometrics and how it is influencing identification in the future.

Working of Fingerprint Biometric System:

  1. Fingerprint Recognition: The process starts with the collection of a person’s fingerprint. The touchscreens of smartphones and tablets as well as fingerprint scanners and sensors can all be used for this. The ridges and valleys of your fingerprint are captured when you place your fingertip on a fingerprint sensor or scanner. When someone places the finger onto the biometric system, the ridges and valleys on the finger that are pressed they are captured and stored in the biometrics. When the person presses the finger again onto the biometrics, the live prints are then matched with the recorded prints.
  2. Image Enhancement: To enhance the quality of the fingerprint image that was collected, image enhancement techniques may be used. In order to make the ridges and valleys stand out more, this may entail reducing noise or boosting contrast as sometimes due to excess pressure or slight contact the prints get over enhanced or not clearly recorded respectively so Image Enhancement technique helps in the proper enhancement of the prints adjusting the contrast and thus boosts the image that is recorded. 
  3. Feature Extraction: Following image enhancement, the system pulls particular fingerprint traits, such as ridge patterns and minute dots, from the image. When ridges come to an end, split, or intersect, these locations are known as minutiae points. Based on these extracted features, the system develops a digital fingerprint that is frequently referred to as a fingerprint template or minutiae map.

Fig 1: The figure shows Image enhancement of Biometric Fingerprint and various enhancement features that are recorded while capturing the biometrics.[7]

4. Fingerprint comparison: The collected fingerprint template is compared to a template that is already saved in a database in order to validate or authenticate an individual. The system may carry out a one-to-many match in more complicated applications, such as forensic identification or border security, by comparing the live fingerprint against a sizable library of previously stored templates in order to identify a potential match.

5.Matching Threshold: A matching threshold is typically established to specify when a match is thought to be legitimate. The identification is verified if there is a difference between the live fingerprint and the saved template that is greater than this threshold.

6.Security precautions: Fingerprint biometric systems frequently secure the stored templates using encryption techniques to prevent unauthorized access or modification. They may also have anti-spoofing safeguards to identify forged or manufactured prints.

Types of Sensors in fingerprint biometrics:

Touch ID as biometrics in smartphones:

                                Fig 2:  Figure shows the Touch ID used in the smartphones [8]

Today’s smartphones contain a lot of information, some of which may be sensitive, private, or secret. All mobile operating systems (OSs) contain a phone lock mechanism that needs user authentication before providing access to applications and data on the phone in order to protect such data.

Recently, Apple has introduced Touch ID, that allows a fingerprint-based authentication to be used for unlocking an iPhone. For older models of the device or behind the display for newer models, Touch ID makes use of a capacitive fingerprint sensor. When a user presses their fingertip on the sensor, a high-resolution image of their fingerprint is taken, and specific details like minute points and ridge patterns are measured. The information is subsequently transformed into a template, a mathematical representation that is safely kept on the device [1].

Advantages:  For a number of reasons, the use of fingerprint recognition for security purposes has grown in hundreds of institutions. First, this method is simpler for consumers to utilize than the previous one, which involved physically inking a fingertip and afterwards having trouble removing the ink. The low cost of implementation, where the optical sensor is an inexpensive device, is the second factor. Additionally, this strategy is used in mobile environments, particularly smart phones (such as iPhones), making it a more appealing authentication technique.

Limitations: Although fingerprint recognition offers many benefits, it also has certain disadvantages. The biometric system’s ability to capture high-quality photographs of finger patterns requires some complexity. Due to problems with grit, wounds, wear, and tear that can easily affect the ridges and minute details of a fingertip.

Future development: Recently, a novel and difficult technique to biometric-based person authentication was introduced. In the field of biometric research, fingernail plates are a developing authentication device. This method is based on the distinguishing characteristics of the fingernail plate surface.

Application of Fingerprint Biometrics in Forensic Investigations:

1. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) maintains the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS), a national automated fingerprint identification and criminal history system. IAFIS offers electronic picture storage, automatic fingerprint and latent search capabilities, as well as electronic exchange of fingerprints and answers.

2.IAFIS maintains the fingerprints and criminal records of 70 million individuals in the criminal master file, 31 million civil prints, and the fingerprints of 73,000 known or suspected terrorists who have been subjected to U.S. or international law enforcement organizations’ processing.

3.Electronic criminal fingerprint applications typically receive a response in about 27 minutes, while electronic civil submissions are handled in around an hour and a half. During Fiscal Year 2010, IAFIS processed more than 61 million ten-print submissions.

4.The FBI declared in September 2014 that their Next Generation Identification system had completely replaced IAFIS and was now fully operational.

Challenges of Fingerprint Biometric System:

Although fingerprint biometric systems have numerous advantages, they also have certain drawbacks. The following are some typical issues with fingerprint biometric systems:

1. False Rejection and False Acceptance Rates:

False Acceptance: This takes place when the system mistakenly labels an unauthorised user as an authorised user.

False Rejection: This occurs when the system misidentifies a legitimate user and denies them access. It is difficult to maintain a balance between both rates because raising one frequently causes a rise in the other.

2. Presentational and Spoofing Attacks: Fingerprint sensors are susceptible to spoofing techniques, such as the use of counterfeit prints made of gelatin, silicone, or latex. Presentation assaults entail tricking the system by displaying a previously taken image or a 3D duplicate of a fingerprint.

3. Environmental Factors: Dirt, dampness, and extreme temperatures can all have an impact on fingerprint identification, which could result in errors.

4. Age related factors: Skin changes brought on by ageing, trauma, or specific medical conditions might impair the accuracy of fingerprint scans and result in identification errors.

5. System Costs: Due to the requirement for specialized hardware, software, and maintenance, implementing fingerprint biometric systems can be expensive. Adoption may be hampered by this cost, particularly in smaller organizations.

6. Concerns about Privacy Invasion: Because they are worried about being watched or having their biometric information misused, some people may feel that fingerprint biometrics are intrusive and oppose their implementation.


Modern security and identity verification now depend heavily on fingerprint biometrics. We can envision a time in the future when our individual fingerprints will unlock a safer and more effective world as this technology develops and permeates more areas of our existence. In order to verify or authenticate identity, fingerprint biometrics capture, enhance, and extract distinctive elements from a person’s fingerprint and compare those traits to templates that have been saved. Due to the dependability and individuality of fingerprints, this technique is frequently used for safe access control, authentication, forensic investigations, and other purposes.

Biometric sensors and scanners are essential for increasing security, increasing ease, and guaranteeing precise identification and authentication. They rely on the stability and uniqueness of biometric traits to deliver dependable and secure identity verification and access control solutions. Apple’s iOS devices use Touch ID and other biometric authentication technologies. In Touch ID, fingerprint biometrics are used.

Although fingerprint biometrics have enormous potential, there are still certain difficulties. The technology must get over obstacles like false acceptance and rejection rates, spoofing attempts, environmental conditions, and privacy considerations. These difficulties highlight the significance of constant innovation and strict security controls in the design and use of biometric technologies.

As time goes on, fingerprint biometrics will develop even further, becoming more complex and trustworthy. They will become a vital tool in numerous industries thanks to developments in sensor technology, artificial intelligence, and data encryption.

In a broader sense, fingerprint biometrics are influencing how we use technology by providing safe and convenient authentication methods in our smartphones, tablets, and other devices. The future of fingerprint biometrics has immense promise in creating a safer and more convenient society for all of us, with careful consideration of privacy and ethical concerns.


1. Cherapau, I., Muslukhov, I., Asanka, N. and Beznosov, K., 2015. On the Impact of Touch {ID} on {iPhone} Passcodes. In Eleventh Symposium On Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS 2015) (pp. 257-276).

2. Yu, Y., Niu, Q., Li, X., Xue, J., Liu, W. and Lin, D., 2023. A Review of Fingerprint Sensors: Mechanism, Characteristics, and Applications. Micromachines14(6), p.1253.   Page 2, 4

3. Alsaadi, I.M., 2015. Physiological biometric authentication systems, advantages, disadvantages and future development: A review. International Journal of Scientific & Technology Research4(12), pp.285-289.   Page 2

4.  Narhar, U.K.; Joshi, R.B., “Highly Secure Authentication Scheme,” in Computing Communication Control and Automation (ICCUBEA), 2015 International Conference on, vol., no., pp.270-274, 26-27 Feb. 2015    

5. Dharavath, K.; Talukdar, F.A.; Laskar, R.H., “Study on biometric authentication systems, challenges and future trends: A review,” in Computational Intelligence and Computing Research (ICCIC), 2013 IEEE International Conference on, vol., no., pp.1-7, 26-28 Dec. 2013

6. Saini, M. and Kapoor, A.K., 2016. Biometrics in forensic identification: applications and challenges. J Forensic Med1(108), p.2.



Written by: Karunya S

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