1) They are “permanent” in that they are formed in the fetal stage, prior to birth, and remain the same throughout lifetime, barring disfiguration by scarring, until sometime after death when decomposition sets in. That means that the prints do not change during a life time. That’s not all true because fingerprints do change, but the changes can be explained. If not, they can’t be identified. The changes can be made by: flexibility from the skin, growing, a dirty finger, scarring, a wound, or a disease of the skin.
2) They are “unique” in that no two fingerprints, or friction ridge area, made by different fingers or areas, are the same (or are identical in their ridge characteristic arrangement). People always ask if identical twins have the same prints, the answer is NO. They have completely different fingerprints, although they have the same DNA. Some people think that it is because there are influences of the environs that make the prints develop different. There is never found a print that is the same, even not on the same person.
There are five stages involved in finger-scan verification and identification: fingerprint image acquisition, image processing, location of distinctive characteristics, template creation and template matching.
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