Fingerprint recognition has been successfully used bylaw enforcement agencies to identify suspects andvictims for almost 100 years. Recent advances in automatedfingerprint identification technology, coupled with thegrowing need for reliable person identification, have
resulted in an increased use of fingerprints in bothgovernment and civilian applications such as bordercontrol, employment background checks, and secure facilityaccess.The success of fingerprint recognition systems in accurately identifying individuals has prompted some individuals to engage in extreme measures for the purpose of circumventing these systems. The primary purpose of fingerprint alterati...
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...ve prompted some individuals to take extrememeasures to evade identification by altering their fingerprints. The problem of fingerprint alteration or obfuscationis very different from that of fingerprint spoofing, where an individual uses a fake fingerprint in order to adopt theidentity of another individual. While the problem of spoofing has received substantial attention in the literature,the problem of obfuscation has not been addressed in the biometric literature, in spite of numerous documented casesof fingerprint alteration for the purpose of evading identification. While obfuscation may be encountered withother biometric modalities (such as face and iris), thisproblem is especially significant in the case of fingerprintsdue to the widespread deployment of AFIS in bothgovernment and civilian applications and the ease withwhich fingerprints can be obfuscated.
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