MEHAU KULYK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MEHAU KULYK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Fingerprint scanning. Computer artwork of a fingerprint scan with markings (red dots) showing the positions of characteristic features. A computer locates the features on the image that together make the fingerprint unique. Each feature's position is calculated with reference to the others, and this information is stored in a computer database. Forensic science uses fingerprints as a way of identifying people who were at the scene of a crime. Fingerprints, and other biometric information, such as iris patterns, may be incorporated in passports or ID cards, or be used as a type of key, only allowing entry to recognised people.
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