Altered Fingerprints: Analysis and Detection
The widespread deployment of Automated Fingerprint Identification Systems (AFIS) in law enforcement and border control applications has heightened the need for ensuring that these systems are not compromised. While several issues related to fingerprint system security have been investigated, including the use of fake fingerprints for masquerading identity, the problem of fingerprint alteration or obfuscation has received very little attention. Fingerprint obfuscation refers to the deliberate alteration of the fingerprint pattern by an individual for the purpose of masking his identity. Several cases of fingerprint obfuscation have been reported in the press. Fingerprint image quality assessment software (e.g., NFIQ) cannot always detect altered fingerprints since the implicit image quality due to alteration may not change significantly.