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Articles on Fingerprints

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A U.S. Army soldier scans the irises of an Afghan civilian in 2012 as part of an effort by the military to collect biometric information from much of the Afghan population. Jose Cabezas/AFP via GettyImages

The Taliban reportedly have control of US biometric devices – a lesson in life-and-death consequences of data privacy

The potential failure of the U.S. military to protect information that can identify Afghan citizens raises questions about whether and how biometric data should be collected in war zones.
A man of genius – but his ideas were not to the benefit of all humankind. Mondadori Portfolio/Hulton Fine Art Collection via Getty Images

Francis Galton pioneered scientific advances in many fields – but also founded the racist pseudoscience of eugenics

Smart people can have really bad ideas – like selectively breeding human beings to improve the species. Put into practice, Galton’s concept proved discriminatory, damaging, even deadly.
Even identical twins have different fingerprints. El Greco/Shutterstock.com

How did I get my own unique set of fingerprints?

You've had your own personal set of fingerprints since before you were born, and they'll be with you throughout your whole life.
Even though passcode options include swipe patterns and long passwords, many users still use easy 4-digit PINs. This is because people are often lulled into a false sense of security when they use fingerprint login. SHUTTERSTOCK

Fingerprint login should be a secure defence for our data, but most of us don’t use it properly

While the data from a fingerprint is very hard to retrieve, cybercriminals can get around biometric technology in various ways. And having a weak passcode is like giving them a hall pass.
There’s a margin of error in relying on fingerprinting to catch criminals. from www.shutterstock.com

Fingerprinting to solve crimes: not as robust as you think

Fingerprinting is a valuable police tool for tracking down suspects, but it’s not perfect. However, we can reduce the risk of any mistaken identity if we work within the limits of fingerprinting.
Latent fingermarks dusted with micronised Egyptian blue on a $20 note, viewed in the Near Infrared. Simon Lewis

Ancient Egyptian pigment provides modern forensics with new coat of paint

The ancient Egyptians knew a thing or two about how to produce a vibrant blue pigment for their tombs and coffins. Now it’s being used to help find fingerprints.
Hold it right there. Michael Dalder/Reuters

What makes a ‘smart gun’ smart?

President Obama’s call for better electronic gun-safety systems put a spotlight on the technologies currently in the R&D pipeline that aim to make sure only authorized users can fire a gun.
The Secrets of the Hand premieres on SBS at 8:30pm Sunday April 13. SBS

The future in your palm: science and The Secrets of the Hand

For thousands of years, people believed their future could be read in the lines etched into the palm of their hands. The ancient art of palmistry, originating in India, claimed a close examination of the…
Say hello to your new iPhone passcode – so how do fingerprint scanners work? dhammza

iPhone 5S fingerprint scanning: thumbs up or down?

Technology to acquire and use biometric data such as fingerprints has been around for several decades and has made its way from forensic investigation to laptop computers – and now, with this week’s introduction…

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