Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System

Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System

The Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) is a national automated fingerprint identification and criminal history system maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). IAFIS provides automated fingerprint search capabilities, latent searching capability, electronic image storage, and electronic exchange of fingerprints and responses. IAFIS maintains the largest biometric database in the world, containing the fingerprints and corresponding criminal history information for more than 47 million subjects.

Fingerprints are voluntarily submitted to the FBI by local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. These agencies acquire the fingerprints through criminal arrests or from non-criminal sources, such as employment background checks and the US-VISIT program. The FBI then catalogs the fingerprints along with any criminal history linked with the subject.

Law enforcement agencies can then request a search in IAFIS to identify fingerprints taken during criminal investigations. Civil searches are also performed, but the FBI charges a small fee and the response time is slower.

The FBI has announced plans to replace IAFIS with a "Next Generation Identification" system, [Dizard III, Wilson P. [ "FBI plans major database upgrade"] . "Government Computer News", 28 August 2006. Retrieved on 2 February 2007.] to be developed by Lockheed Martin.


The device used for scanning live fingerprints into AFIS is called LiveScan. The process of obtaining the prints by way of LiveScan employs rolling prints or placing flat impressions onto a glass platen above a camera unit. The process of obtaining prints by placing a tenprint card (prints taken using ink) onto a flatbed or high-speed scanner is called CardScan (or occasionally DeadScan). In addition to these devices, there are other devices to capture prints from crime scenes (latent prints), as well as devices (both wired and wireless) to capture one or two live finger impressions. The most common method of acquiring fingerprint images remains the inexpensive ink pad and paper form. Scanning forms ("fingerprint cards") with a forensic AFIS complies with standards established by the FBI and NIST.

To match a print, a fingerprint technician scans in the print in question, and computer algorithms are utlized to mark all minutia points, cores, and deltas detected on the print. In some systems, the technician is allowed to perform a review of the points that the software has detected, and submits the feature set to a one-to-many (1:N) search. The better commercial systems provide fully automated processing and searching ("lights-out") of print features. The fingerprint image processor will generally assign a "quality measure" that indicates if the print is acceptable for searching.


External links

* [ Federal Bureau of Investigation - CJIS Division - Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System]

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