May 14, 2012 -
A fingerprint reader is a reliable way to secure proper identification and is primarily used by law enforcement to identify criminals and persons of interest.
Over the last decade, fingerprinting technology has evolved to become extremely mobile. Officers who patrol British motorways have recently been outfitted with mobile fingerprint readers. Though mobile, the technologies are still a considerable size, which means that they have to be installed in patrol vehicles or on motorcycles. The goal of installing the devices was to be able to correctly identify a suspect during a traffic stop without having to take people to the nearest police station for identification. The experiment has worked, but adjustments still need to be made in terms of technology portability.
Today, there are several fingerprint readers being developed which are similar in size to most handheld radios or mobile phones. They can be easily fit inside a pocket, and then be taken out when a person needs to be properly identified. Such devices can be synced with the National Automated Fingerprint System in the U.K, which has a databank of over six million fingerprints.
Understandably, the largest issue confronting the use of mobile fingerprint scanners is potential invasion of privacy. Current laws in the U.K. are being studied and amended to address the issue. On the technology side, a system is being specifically developed for the fingerprint reader to only read but not necessarily transmit fingerprint scan data unless absolutely necessary.