The Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) is a biometric identification (ID) methodology that uses digital imaging technology to obtain, store, and analyze fingerprint data. 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.
Fingerprinting, as a form of personal identification, is a refined methodology that is proven in practice and accepted in courts of law. AFIS itself has been around for more than 25 years. Recently, a more advanced form of AFIS uses a process called plain-impression live scanning. Several vendors offer AFIS equipment and programs.