Fingerprinting — A Remarkably Old Method of Verification

Fingerprinting may seem like a relatively modern method of verifying a person’s authenticity, but it actually has a long, varied past.

For example:

  • Ancient Babylon and China:  Fingerprints of individuals were used as seals for business (and potentially personal) transactions.
  • Persia (1500s):  Fingerprints were used on government papers.  This is one of the first known times in history that it was noted that no two fingerprints were the same.
  • England (late 1850s) – Fingerprints began systematically being used by the English for various purposes.
  • United States (early 1880s) – The U.S. Geological Survey, New Mexico, used Gilbert Thompson’s fingerprints on a document to thwart forgery attempts.
  • Argentina (early 1890s) – The first fingerprint ID was used to solve a murder.
  • New York, U.S. (1903) – Systematic use of fingerprint IDs for criminals was set in place by the New York State Prison system.

Today, fingerprinting has a wide variety of uses; in fact, many computers and laptops can be protected using fingerprint identification tools instead of written passwords.

It’s a fascinating study… we can only wonder what fingerprinting be used for next. 

Kristina Taylor
In 1989, Kristina began her career as a customer service representative at the newly formed American Tenant Screen, Inc. Ten years later, she pioneered tenant background screening on the Internet. As a long-standing member of the National Multifamily Resident Information Council (formerly the National Association of Screening Agencies) Kristina gains insight into the trends of the tenant screening industry to better understand the current and future needs of their clients.

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