Thumbs-up for old ink prints
Published 17/04/2010 | 05:00
I have absolutely no idea where the Association of Garda Superintendents came across the idea that electronic fingerprinting is more effective than the traditional wet-ink methods.
Leaving aside the fact that flat electronic prints record only 60pc of the fingertip when compared with rolled prints of forensic quality, the basic flaw of all electronic biometric systems is that they rely on probability to indicate a positive or negative match with reference to prints already held in the database. This means the larger the database the more inaccurate the system -- it is adding more hay to the stack in which you are looking for a needle.
If the superintendents are so sure of the new machines, they will no doubt be delighted to furnish us with trial results comparing the methods, but I'm certain that they can not. This being the case they must cease wasting money on unproven but oversold technology. Will Ireland never learn the lesson of electronic voting?