Fallen Myth - Fingerprints May Not Be Unique

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@LadyDuck (176483)
Switzerland
October 11, 2017 9:52am CST
We all believed to have unique fingerprints, but according to recent discoveries, it seems that this is yet to be proved. The discovery shows that members of the same family, share the same fingerprint patterns. Considering a partial fingerprint found on a crime scene, can lead to incriminate the wrong person. Well, it was since 1901 that the police used this "infallible" method. I wonder how many innocent people have been sent to jail for inaccurate reading of their fingerprints. Have you read this news? It seems that many things we gave for granted are finally not so sure. Now I am curious to know if in the future, we will discover that also our voice and our tongue print are not unique.
82 people like this
79 responses
@topffer (36100)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
11 Oct 17
The police knows that there are similarities between fingerprints, and they want 7 or 8 similar points between 2 fingerprints before attributing it. At this level you cannot make a confusion between 2 persons of the same family, but it explains also why fingerprints found on a scene of crime cannot always be used when they are not neat/complete. Until now I never heard of 2 people having exactly the same fingerprints.
16 people like this
@LadyDuck (176483)
• Switzerland
11 Oct 17
Until now I also did not hear of 2 people with the same fingerprints. I will investigate more, because the media jump easily to conclusions.
9 people like this
@topffer (36100)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
11 Oct 17
@LadyDuck The police can use a fingerprint with only 4 or 5 similarities as a piece of evidence when they have other pieces of evidence against somebody, but it will be presented in court like what it is, a piece of evidence and not a definitive evidence. Some people might not understand it.
6 people like this
@LadyDuck (176483)
• Switzerland
11 Oct 17
@topffer This is what I suspect, people cannot be jailed only on a partial fingerprint found on the scene of the crime.
6 people like this
@Corbin5 (116128)
• United States
11 Oct 17
I have not heard this news. If this is the case, then I am sure other unique to the individual parts will have to be used for identification purposes.
Your earlobes, lip print, tongue print, teeth, and other body parts and traits are just as unique to you as your fingerprints.
8 people like this
@LadyDuck (176483)
• Switzerland
12 Oct 17
You know, while people touch things, I do not believe that a criminal would leave around his/her tongue print. The hear lobes (and shape) the iris and the teeth are also unique you can only use the iris and the ears for very secure ID cards, but they are not useful for the police to trace criminals. If the theory of the unique fingerprints drop, they can only use the DNA.
4 people like this
@Shiva49 (13972)
• Singapore
12 Oct 17
Now we have iris recognition immigration system that is supposed to be unique - siva
3 people like this
@LadyDuck (176483)
• Switzerland
12 Oct 17
@Shiva49 Iris is unique, but the iris change with the age and the colour could change if you assume some kind of medications.
4 people like this
• Eugene, Oregon
11 Oct 17
Fingerprints have been used and sometimes misused, but I think that @toppfer is right.
6 people like this
@LadyDuck (176483)
• Switzerland
12 Oct 17
I agree @toppfer is right and I think that from long time this is no more the only way to frame a criminal.
2 people like this
@hostessman (9976)
• Tucson, Arizona
11 Oct 17
only time will tell the truth
5 people like this
@LadyDuck (176483)
• Switzerland
11 Oct 17
You are right, wait and see.
3 people like this
@DianneN (84977)
• United States
11 Oct 17
I haven't heard this, but now understand why the airport in London, England took eye scans in two different checkpoints just to fly to Scotland. DNA also seems to be foolproof. Your news is amazing!
4 people like this
@LadyDuck (176483)
• Switzerland
12 Oct 17
Iris is also unique, but it is well know that eye iris changes during lifetime and some diseases can quickly modify the color of the iris. DNA evidence is not foolproof.
Believing it blindly could put the wrong people in jail
2 people like this
@DianneN (84977)
• United States
12 Oct 17
@LadyDuck I'm speechless! Wow!
2 people like this
@LadyDuck (176483)
• Switzerland
13 Oct 17
@DianneN They will implant a microchip to every newborn in the future , I am glad I am no more young.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (72397)
• Walnut Creek, California
12 Oct 17
Well, now we have DNA samples.
4 people like this
@LadyDuck (176483)
• Switzerland
13 Oct 17
We usually have, unless there is only a fingerprint on the door of a car used for a robbery, this happens.
2 people like this
@vandana7 (67648)
• India
13 Oct 17
I can plant DNA samples, and DNA samples also have other drawbacks. I may arrive at the crime scene and have some of my finger prints there. It does not mean I was not there before, and it does not mean I just arrived. Prints can't be timed. Over the years, they also get contaminated.
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (176483)
• Switzerland
13 Oct 17
@vandana7 This is a good idea, go there several times before the crime, so you can prove that your fingerprints are there because you went there before. While going there to create an alibi, plant DNA evidences collected from other people.
2 people like this
@JudyEv (134917)
• Bunbury, Australia
12 Oct 17
That's interesting. I wonder what the outcome will be. And I wonder if facial recognition like they have in airports will be more widely used.
4 people like this
@LadyDuck (176483)
• Switzerland
12 Oct 17
Facial recognition is useful if you are showing your face, I do not believe that criminals will leave their photo on a crime scene. For the crime scene in addition to the fingerprints the DNA test will be useful.
2 people like this
@JudyEv (134917)
• Bunbury, Australia
12 Oct 17
@LadyDuck Of course, silly me! It is late here and I had one too many glasses of mine with my dinner. I think it's time I logged off.
2 people like this
@Asylum (48224)
• Manchester, England
11 Oct 17
It has long been believed that fingerprints are not unique, just diverse enough to make duplication extremely unlikely or rare.
4 people like this
@LadyDuck (176483)
• Switzerland
12 Oct 17
This is true, but a "partial" fingerprint may be mistaken very easily and I doubt that on a crime scene they can find perfectly stamped fingerprints. If this should be the case, they would be placed there by purpose.
3 people like this
@Asylum (48224)
• Manchester, England
12 Oct 17
@LadyDuck I have to agree with that.
3 people like this
@amadeo (73262)
• United States
11 Oct 17
I have not heard of this.But does make a lot of sense there. Yes,I am sure there are many people there who are incriminate.Never can tell. Thank you .Good morning.Fredo
4 people like this
@LadyDuck (176483)
• Switzerland
11 Oct 17
Good morning Fredo. I always thought that it's pretty hard to be sure of the identity of a criminal only getting a little part of a fingerprint.
2 people like this
@amadeo (73262)
• United States
11 Oct 17
@LadyDuck yes like you say how many out there were false
3 people like this
@RubyHawk (29322)
• Atlanta, Georgia
12 Oct 17
I have read that and I too wonder how many innocent people are spending time in prisons for crimes they didn't commit. I know many are found guilty who are innocent, and this is one more factor to consider when charging anyone for a crime.
3 people like this
@LadyDuck (176483)
• Switzerland
12 Oct 17
I think it's too easy to compare a partial fingerprint with a database and jump to conclusions. In my opinion there is not a sure method, have you seen the man who was jailed for years because he looked like another man? They should be more careful to check the alibi.
2 people like this
@RubyHawk (29322)
• Atlanta, Georgia
12 Oct 17
@LadyDuck Maybe they shouldn't use partial fingerprints at all. I think alibis are checked but a good lawyer can convince a jury on little evidence. Our system is said to be the best in the world but still some innocent people go to jail and some criminals remain free.
2 people like this
@LadyDuck (176483)
• Switzerland
13 Oct 17
@RubyHawk Well, the countries with the best Judicial system in the world are Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark (in this order) and even in those counties there are innocents that were jailed and criminals that run (U.S.A. is number 18).
2 people like this
@SIMPLYD (83124)
• Philippines
12 Oct 17
And that's a scary discovery. We can be incriminated for a crime we didn't commit because our fingerprint matches with the fingerprint on the used weapon.
3 people like this
@LadyDuck (176483)
• Switzerland
12 Oct 17
As they now know that they are not unique, this will not be a way to incriminate people.
2 people like this
@SIMPLYD (83124)
• Philippines
12 Oct 17
@LadyDuck I agree. It will not be acceptable anymore as evidence.
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (176483)
• Switzerland
12 Oct 17
1 person likes this
@Shellyann36 (11273)
• United States
13 Oct 17
I had not heard of this. I do think that @topffer has a very valid point.
3 people like this
@LadyDuck (176483)
• Switzerland
13 Oct 17
Yes, he is right on this for sure.
3 people like this
@suziecat7 (3393)
• Asheville, North Carolina
11 Oct 17
I haven't heard this. Now they rely more on DNA but who knows what they'll find out about that?
3 people like this
@LadyDuck (176483)
• Switzerland
12 Oct 17
Right now the only sure evidence if the DNA that matches, but even a "partial" DNA can lead to wrong conclusions.
2 people like this
@bluesa (15115)
• Johannesburg, South Africa
12 Oct 17
Oh my word, this is shocking to me, because fingerprints are always used as evidence! As for voices, people say my sister and I sound alike over a phone.
2 people like this
@LadyDuck (176483)
• Switzerland
12 Oct 17
When Mom was younger, people were unable to make the difference from the two of us over a phone. Only the DNA test seems to be sure.
2 people like this
@bluesa (15115)
• Johannesburg, South Africa
14 Oct 17
@LadyDuck , Yes, it seems DNA is the surest. If anything is discovered to contradict that, then I am not certain how some crimes will be solved.
2 people like this
@LadyDuck (176483)
• Switzerland
14 Oct 17
@bluesa Implanting a microchip in every new born, so they can track us.
2 people like this
@just4him (127167)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
12 Oct 17
I hadn't heard that. I didn't know there was anything unique about the tongue or voice. I've heard many people who sound alike, especially twins.
2 people like this
@LadyDuck (176483)
• Switzerland
13 Oct 17
I agree that many sound alike, but it seems that, if examined with tech instruments, the voice is unique, as it is the eye iris.
2 people like this
@just4him (127167)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
14 Oct 17
@LadyDuck I know the eye iris is unique as they are starting to use that for identification. It would take a tech instrument to tell the difference in the voice.
2 people like this
@LadyDuck (176483)
• Switzerland
14 Oct 17
@just4him I have read that the iris is not a sure method because the scanner did not recognize people who had cataract.
2 people like this
@crossbones27 (21216)
• Redlands, California
15 Oct 17
Bad jokes bad jokes my lot banned me, bad jokes again.
2 people like this
@LadyDuck (176483)
• Switzerland
15 Oct 17
You have not been banned, I see you are still around.
2 people like this
• Redlands, California
15 Oct 17
@LadyDuck Haha, Mylot loves me I think, never get to cocky miss lady. Now I just have the rest of population to worry about. Always cool to be appreciated by some one though, Thanks miss lady, thanks Mylot, Like I say, love the ones that show a better way and it comes at a price every time. Sad to say
2 people like this
@LadyDuck (176483)
• Switzerland
16 Oct 17
@crossbones27 MyLot is a nice community, except for a few who get offended for a nonsense and they block you, the rest of people here are good people.
2 people like this
@dgobucks226 (13787)
11 Oct 17
I never knew about this fingerprint controversy?
2 people like this
@LadyDuck (176483)
• Switzerland
11 Oct 17
It's a first time also for me and I want to research to know more.
2 people like this
@dgobucks226 (13787)
12 Oct 17
@LadyDuck I know they use dental records to identify people. I heard them talking today about finding another method for ID instead of using your social security number. One such comment was an Iris (eye)scan although how serious they are and if it would work is another matter.
2 people like this
@LadyDuck (176483)
• Switzerland
12 Oct 17
@dgobucks226 The iris is supposed to be unique, the color can change with the age and it also changes if you take some medications against glaucoma. The dental records are used to identify people, but I suspect they are not useful to identify criminals, I do not see how they would leave their dental trace during a robbery, different if they kill someone and bite the victim.
2 people like this
@DeborahDiane (23776)
• Laguna Woods, California
14 Oct 17
@LadyDuck - Wow! I did not know this. That is very thought-provoking. Perhaps it is better to use fingerprints in combination with DNA or other identifiers.
2 people like this
@LadyDuck (176483)
• Switzerland
14 Oct 17
The more element you combine, the better is to avoid to frame an innocent.
2 people like this
@LadyDuck (176483)
• Switzerland
15 Oct 17
@DeborahDiane Many have been executed by mistake and we only know of a few. I imagine that they try to keep the thing secret, so they do not have to pay damages to the family.
2 people like this
• Laguna Woods, California
16 Oct 17
@LadyDuck - I agree that when they make a mistake they probably work very hard to hide the fact. It has to happen, however. It is rare for us to be 100% sure of who committed a murder, unless it happened in broad daylight with lots of witnesses.
2 people like this
• Kolkata, India
11 Oct 17
Yeah.. I have also read it somewhere though cannot really distinguish where. Fingerprint is not the ultimate, but retina verification is. I don't know if someday there might similar retina also comes in, but as of fingerprint already there are many evidence of it. But, still even after having many evidences, the no of errors are so less, that it can still be considered to be one of the good method of verification, but of course not the best.
2 people like this
@LadyDuck (176483)
• Switzerland
12 Oct 17
It's the Iris, not the retina, and you should know that also the iris changes with the age. Some diseases modify the iris colour and shape in a short time. The voice changes with the age... nothing is sure.
1 person likes this
• Kolkata, India
12 Oct 17
@LadyDuck So what do you suggest. Fingerprint, iris, and face recognition is ofcourse not a stable method to take. So what should e done?
2 people like this
@LadyDuck (176483)
• Switzerland
12 Oct 17
@subhajitsil6 DNA, for the moment it seems that this is 100% sure.
1 person likes this
@1hopefulman (32484)
• Canada
11 Oct 17
No I haven't heard of this "new" information. Can you share where you read it?
2 people like this
@LadyDuck (176483)
• Switzerland
12 Oct 17
Sure I can give you a couple of links http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2609919/Not-handy-Fingerprints-flawed-way-identifying-criminals-arent-unique-thought-says-Home-Office-scientist.html
Fingerprint evidence linking criminals to crime scenes has played a fundamental role in convictions in Britain since the first forensic laboratory was set up in Scotland Yard in 1901.
2 people like this
@1hopefulman (32484)
• Canada
12 Oct 17
@LadyDuck Thank you! Very interesting. It seems that mistakes can be made. We are always learning. "Unlike other forensic fields, such as DNA analysis, which give a statistical probability of a match, fingerprint examiners traditionally testify that the evidence constitutes either a 100 per cent certain match or a 100 per cent exclusion."
2 people like this
@LadyDuck (176483)
• Switzerland
12 Oct 17
@1hopefulman I like to read those articles, there is always something interesting to learn.
2 people like this