Centuries ago, fingerprints were used in place of signatures on important documents. The Babylonians created fingerprints on clay for business transactions while the Chinese used ink-prints for business and for indentifying their descendants. The 19th century brought a clever chap named Sir WIlliam Hersche, the Chief Magistrate of the Hooghly district in Jungipoor, India. Hersche took measures to reduce fraud by having the residents record their fingerprints when signing business documents.
Presently, fingerprints not only play a large part in criminal convictions and the advancement of biometrics, but have also opended the door to higher security accesses in computers, phones and buildings. In some parts of the world infrared light captures the vein patterns beneath the fingerprints.
Fingerprints are unique to each person and advanced technology has made it easier for prints and criminals easier to capture. Read more here.