The traditional way of having fingerprints taken is to use ink. However, there are modern digital fingerprint methods that are also available at a higher cost. For businesses that need to take fingerprints for whatever reason, it is important to understand the upsides and downsides of each option in order to figure out which option is the best. However, while there are some downsides to ink fingerprinting, there are ways this issue can be overcome. There are also legal limitations to using a digital fingerprint.

Cost Considerations

One of the best things about traditional ink fingerprinting services is that they are less expensive. While the difference is often only $10, this can be significant for a business that must perform a lot of fingerprinting. 

Smudged Fingerprints And Legibility

One of the downsides of using ink is that there is a risk that the ink will be smudged. The best way to avoid this is to assist an individual who is recording his or her fingerprint. If you are taking the fingerprint of a child, make sure to model the correct way of pressing one's finger on the ink in order to get an accurate fingerprint. 

Unusable Fingerprints

Sometimes, the ink is unable to get all of the ridges of an individual's fingerprint. When this occurs, the fingerprint may not be usable. However, since it is common to have at least two cards, if there is one fingerprint that is not usable, the other card likely will be usable.

Accurate Fingerprints

For fingerprinting to be effective, the fingers need to not be too dry. For this reason, those individuals who often need to wash their hands, such as healthcare professionals, may have a more difficult time getting accurate fingerprints. It may be necessary for the individual to wait before having a fingerprint taken.

Legal Issues

Digital fingerprints have one major downside that can make it essential to use ink fingerprints. The scanned fingerprints cannot be transported across state lines. Therefore, having a fingerprint scanned by a business is only useful if the fingerprint will only be used within the state. This, coupled with the higher expense, makes the ink fingerprint usually a better option. The taking of ink fingerprints is entirely legal because the individual giving his or her fingerprints consents to the use of the fingerprints by complying. Also, the 5th Amendment does not protect a defendant from the use of fingerprints in a legal case.