Fingerprinting has been used for years by law enforcement agencies to identify people. But it’s also a tool advertisers use to track browsing habits and deliver targeted ads. Some companies require thorough background checks, including fingerprinting, as a part of the hiring process. Here are three reasons you may be required to get fingerprinted for your job.

It Ensures Safety in the Workplace

Fingerprinting helps ensure workplace safety by providing an accurate and comprehensive view of a candidate’s criminal history. A background check that relies solely on self-reported information may miss important details such as a dismissed or expunged conviction. Additionally, fingerprinting is a quick and efficient method of obtaining records, which can help expedite the hiring process and prevent delays in getting employees on board. Fingerprint verification is also a crucial step in preventing identity theft in the workplace. Unlike a name, an ID number, or a social security number, a person’s fingerprint is unique to them. By comparing an individual’s fingerprint to their criminal record, employers can verify the person’s identity and prevent impersonation or identity fraud.

Some job roles involve contact with vulnerable populations like children, older adults, or the general public. Therefore, only people with clean or acceptable criminal records must be hired for those positions. Fingerprinting is a common requirement for people in such jobs, and it helps to keep companies safe from liability by ensuring that they are not hiring convicted felons. Even a felony on an applicant’s record can be grounds for rejection, so requiring fingerprinting is essential for businesses’ and customers’ safety.

It Prevents Hiring Mistakes

The fingerprint background check helps prevent mistakes in vetting applicants for employment. Unlike names, fingerprints are unique and cannot be duplicated, even by identical twins. Therefore, fingerprints are more reliable and accurate than other forms of identification for identifying individuals. It makes it harder for applicants to misrepresent themselves on a job application since any criminal record will appear in a background check involving fingerprints. Fingerprint background checks can also help remove false positives from name-based searches by providing more information about the individual’s identity and arrest history. It is useful when a candidate with an ambiguous name or criminal record isn’t linked to their name. For example, a fingerprint background check can often reveal people arrested under aliases for safety or privacy reasons.

It is also possible for fingerprint records to include information about an arrest that did not result in a conviction. It can lead to a misleading picture of an individual’s background, particularly in government hiring, where fingerprint background checks are required. Including fingerprints and other background checks can help reduce the chance of these mistakes and ensure that an organization hires only the best people. While it is important to note that fingerprinting is not foolproof, it is a more trustworthy and accurate method of vetting candidates than just using name-based searches. It’s important to work with a trusted partner to ensure all relevant checks are conducted and the results are clear and complete.

It Prevents Fraud

All sizes of businesses are particularly concerned about fraud, especially those that handle payment information and offer services online. It can result in unauthorized transactions, goods/services (and subsequent chargebacks), and even stolen credit card information for identity theft and account takeover. Fingerprint background checks provide a level of verification that is not available through name-based screenings. However, fingerprinting is not foolproof and should only be used as one of the many methods in your fraud prevention arsenal. For example, a fraudster can change their device’s fingerprints to avoid detection. Fingerprints are computed based on numerous data points, including the installed fonts and the device’s screen dimensions. These attributes are easy for fraudsters to change on a whim.

Additionally, fingerprints do not provide an absolute verification level as they are not associated with criminal records. The fingerprinting system most commonly used, the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS), is maintained by the FBI and includes 70 million people. It includes people who have committed crimes, those who have been fingerprinted by law enforcement and military institutions, and individuals who may be seeking professional licenses or passports. The most important point to remember about fingerprinting is that it is reactive, not proactive. Fraudsters can often circumvent fingerprinting by simply changing their devices, using a different browser or installing a proxy server.

It Prevents Disruption in the Workplace

Fingerprint background checks are more reliable than other types of screening because they rely on unique biological data. Whether you are applying for a job that requires fingerprinting or want to confirm your identity, the process can be a quick one that provides accurate results. A fingerprint background check uses an ink-and-roll or electronic fingerprint scan to cross-reference your prints with federal and state databases. Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) contains 70 million records, including those of individuals who have been detained or convicted of a crime, as well as civil documents used for professional licensing, such as the fingerprints of engineers, doctors, stockbrokers, attorneys, and other individuals working in regulated industries. The IAFIS is a national fingerprint system, but hundreds of local AFIS databases exist in the states and cities. These AFIS databases may have more accurate information about your arrest history than the national IAFIS database.