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Question #89175 posted on 03/20/2017 10:30 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Can you help me find an authoritative source about the likelihood of two fingerprints being the same?

-My Name Here

A:

To Whom It May Concern,

The likelihood of two fingerprints being the same is unlikely.

-An Authoritative Source

A:

Dear you,

I don't have access to the full text of this article, but it appears that sometimes fingerprints are the same, and the exact rate at which this occurs has not been exactly determined. I agree that it is unlikely.

-Zedability

posted on 03/21/2017 midnight
I was able to access the article in Zedability's answer. If I'm interpreting it correctly (and I might not be; it's a LONG way outside of my expertise), while the study's results seem to back up the idea that every fingerprint is unique, analysis techniques as of the paper's publication in 2002 might not always be able to distinguish between similar prints, especially if one of the prints in question is a partial or low-quality print. The identification techniques in question rely on fingerprint minutiae (points where ridges split or end) and their relative position on the prints; the article suggests that better analysis methods could use additional fingerprint information to become more robust.

Some additional context, which explains the wording of the abstract, can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fingerprint#Validity

Keep in mind, again, that this is outside of my usual area of knowledge and I may have misinterpreted some element of the study.

-yayfulness