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Exposing the Mysteries of Fingerprinting: Deciding Between Ink and Live Scan 

Exposing the Mysteries of Fingerprinting: Deciding Between Ink and Live Scan 

Exposing the Mysteries of Fingerprinting: Deciding Between Ink and Live Scan 

Biometrics is a crucial component of contemporary government. Governments may use biometric data collection to enforce immigration policies, prevent those with criminal histories from accessing confidential information, and do much more.

When it comes to official biometrics, fingerprinting is the gold standard. Fingerprints are very individual and don’t alter much over time. Fingerprints are simple to take and store in a database. Technology has made it easy to look for fingerprint records in a database.

Ink fingerprinting and digital fingerprinting are the two most popular fingerprinting technologies. Traditional fingerprinting using ink is losing popularity to digital fingerprinting. This essay will compare and contrast the two methods, as well as explain why the Canadian government favours digital fingerprints.


What is Live Scan Fingerprinting?

The process of live scan fingerprinting is a cutting-edge way of digitally acquiring fingerprints. A computerised fingerprint scanner replaces traditional methods of fingerprinting with ink and paper. Following electronic transmission, the relevant agency processes the fingerprints. Due to its speed and precision, live scan fingerprinting has been increasingly popular over the years.


When to Use Ink Fingerprinting?

If you require a physical copy of your fingerprints, ink fingerprinting is the way to go. This technique is often utilised for immigration, adoption, employment, and background investigations. When live scan technology is not available, ink fingerprinting might be utilised as a backup.

For many applications, including those that need fingerprint cards, ink fingerprinting is still the method of choice. Ink fingerprinting is often necessary for federal agencies like the FBI to conduct background checks, issue security clearances, and verify identity. This is because, for decades, ink fingerprinting has been a reliable process for creating high-quality fingerprint pictures that can be used for comparison with the FBI’s database.

Additionally, ink fingerprinting may be necessary for out-of-state licences or background checks. Possible reasons for this include a lack of infrastructure to process electronic fingerprints, or a requirement for physical fingerprint cards before they can be sent to the FBI.

Ink fingerprinting may also be required for work visas, residency permits, and travel visas by some foreign nations and organisations. This is due to the fact that ink fingerprinting is a reliable and widely accepted biometric identification method.


What are the benefits of using live scan fingerprinting, and when should it be used?

When time and precision are of the essence, live scan fingerprinting is the method of choice. Background checks, security clearances, licences, and certifications are just some of the typical uses for this technique. When several fingerprint cards of the same person are required, live scan fingerprinting is the method of choice. Digital fingerprints are taken just once, while physical ID cards can be reprinted as many times as necessary. When a person has to be licenced by various agencies or states, this is quite helpful.

The process of live scan fingerprinting, a cutting-edge technique for digitally acquiring fingerprints, is quite intriguing. Live scan fingerprinting employs a digital scanner to take fingerprints as opposed to the ink and paper used in traditional fingerprinting. Initially, the person will place their fingertips on a glass plate. The live scan equipment then takes a high-resolution digital photo of the fingerprints. Light is used to scan the fingerprints and pick out the ridges and valleys that make each fingerprint unique.

When fingerprints are taken with a live scan machine, the image is digitised and sent electronically to the proper agency for processing. The electronic transmission of fingerprints is more quicker and more efficient than the traditional ink fingerprinting. Similarly to ink hard cards, live scan fingerprints may be printed out into physical cards that are recognised by all state and federal agencies.

Many organisations and government departments now exclusively use electronic fingerprinting due to its convenience and efficiency. Live scan fingerprinting, in general, is a fast and effective means to electronically take fingerprints and is a crucial tool in many domains, such as federal and state agencies for security clearances and job checks.


What issues occur with Ink fingerprinting? 

Fingerprints have been recorded in ink since the eighteenth century, although this method isn’t without its drawbacks. For instance, the card’s ink might run. There’s also a chance that the ink doesn’t seep into every nook and cranny of your fingertips. The printouts will be useless nonetheless.

Since finishing two copies of a card is standard procedure, most establishments will do so even if the first one fails. It may be difficult for people working in healthcare to create reliable fingerprints using ink since they frequently wash their hands, which dries them off. Ink fingerprinting, however, is still widely used since it is cheaper than its digital counterpart. A physical copy is provided to each user, and it may be accessed from any location.

Despite these advantages, it’s vital to remember that the physical copy is vulnerable to loss and identity theft. This procedure is also rather inconvenient because it takes so much longer to get results.

What’s better?

Each method has its own set of advantages. The ink fingerprinting method is more widely available at lower cost, and it may be performed at a wider variety of locations. Though digital options are more expensive, they are unquestionably more dependable and less cumbersome. If the prints are not precise enough, the appropriate authorities may reject them and force you to start over.

However, the prints must be obtained in the same state as the licence application if electronic submission is to be considered. No matter what the applicant chooses, a new set of fingerprints will be taken each time he or she applies for a licence in a state that requires them. The ink form of fingerprint records is only good in one state and cannot be shared with other states.

To facilitate future transfers (within that state), fingerprints are often stored in the databases of many digital fingerprint providers. This, however, may not hold true in every jurisdiction or under every set of conditions.

Live Scan fingerprinting is far less of a hassle than the old ink and paper method. Live Scan Fingerprinting is preferable to traditional fingerprinting methods because it eliminates the potential for human mistake caused by using an inadequate or excessive amount of ink.

In addition, the ink distribution on the card might be significantly altered by the rolling criterion, leading to even more identification problems.


The Bottom Line

Finally, both ink fingerprinting and live scan fingerprinting have their uses, and knowing when to employ both is crucial. The use of ink fingerprinting is still beneficial and frequently necessary, despite the growing popularity of live scan fingerprinting due to its speed and accuracy. Let’s say you need to be fingerprinted for whatever reason but you can’t decide between ink and live scan. Always double-check with the organisation or agency asking for fingerprints to be sure you’re submitting them the right way.