The AFIS (Automated Fingerprint Identification System) is a biometric identification (ID) methodology that uses digital imaging technology to obtain, store, and analyze fingerprint data. The AFIS database stores tens of millions of fingerprint images. The database picks out the most likely matches to the new print being fed into the system, narrowing the search parameters for investigators. Final analysis of the print and the retrieved images is done by AFIS Technicians to ensure accuracy of identification. The comparison takes the computer only minutes to do a job which would have taken weeks before computerization of the system. The AFIS was originally used by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in criminal cases. Lately, it has gained favor for general identification and fraud prevention.
AFIS is a closely related technique used in applications such as attendance and access control systems. On a technical level, verification systems verify a claimed identity (a user might claim to be John by presenting his PIN or smart card and verify his identity using his fingerprint), whereas identification systems determine identity based solely on fingerprints.
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