Does fingerprint change over time?

Why do fingerprints need to be taken when making an ID card? Do fingerprints change over time? Do fingerprints and fingerprints determine the fate of each person ?

Fingerprints have long been used by security agencies as a legal basis for identification, based on proven (statistically) characteristics: each person’s fingerprint is unique, is invariant over time. What if scientists discovered that the shape of each person’s fingerprints can change over time (without having to be seriously affected by the environment?).

At a glance, one person’s fingerprints and another’s fingerprints don’t seem to be much different. But in fact , each person’s fingerprint has its own unique features; very specific to the individual.

Since the 15th century, the Chinese have known to use fingerprints; to point only as evidence in the papers. In 1823, Professor Johannes E. Purkinje mentioned the classification of fingerprints. It wasn’t until 1901, that the fingerprint examination department really took shape; and is widely used in many countries around the world.

If only looked at with the naked eye, each person’s fingerprints appear to be similar; and very difficult to distinguish. However, reality shows that fingerprints have unique characteristics for each individual. In the opinion of fingerprint biometric experts, the probability of two people having the same fingerprints is up to 1/64 billion.

Does fingerprint change over time?
The probability of two people having the same fingerprints is up to 1 in 64 billion.

Both in movies and in real life, fingerprints are often used as a basis for identifying criminals. Many studies have proven that the rings (loops), flowers (spirals) on the exposed skin layer are individual imprints of each person, reliable enough as evidence. However, a few people have also conducted tests to see if they really do not change over time.

Research shows that fingerprints do change , but very little . A statistical analysis published in the ” Procedures of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America ” found that fingerprints did change over time, but the change was small, not enough to affect legal analysis.

The study was conducted on 15 597 subjects, these samples were collected at least 5 times over a minimum period of 5 years [1]. The results show that the longer the samples are taken from each other, the smaller the match between them will be [2].

Even so, a scenario in which an innocent defendant is falsely convicted, because a fingerprint match is found (by machine analysis) is very low, with a probability close to zero, even even if you compare the fingerprint samples taken at any time.

In general, the results of this study also depend on the quality of the fingerprint image. A poor quality image will lead to a lot of bias, leading the team to conclude that image quality plays a large role in explaining changes in fingerprint shape over time.