12 Stories

To Unlock a Dead Man's Phone, Police Turn to 3D Printing

Michigan State University professor Anil Jain is on the crime-busting case

(Newser) - An unsolved murder and a locked mobile phone led police to Michigan State University, with an unusual request: Could computer science professor Anil Jain whip up 3D-printed fingers of the victim? Doing so would give them manufactured fingerprints that could unlock his phone and perhaps glean clues about who killed... More »

Woman Ordered to Unlock iPhone With Fingerprint

Some say move violates 5th Amendment

(Newser) - Apple's fight with the feds over unlocking the San Bernardino shooter's phone has dominated the headlines, but a judge demanded a woman's fingerprint be used to unlock her iPhone—a first in a federal court case, reports the Los Angeles Times . Paytsar Bkhchadzhyan's phone was seized... More »

Cops: Fugitive Chewed Off His Fingertips

Kirk Kelly accused of tampering with ... his fingers

(Newser) - A fugitive chewed off his own fingertips—or at least the skin covering them—after being arrested at an Ohio traffic stop last Sunday, police say. Officers in Tallmadge, Ohio, apparently pulled over Kirk Kelly and several others and placed them in a cruiser after smelling drugs in their vehicle,... More »

$5M Gun Database Never Solved a Single Crime in 15 Years

Maryland program finally nixed

(Newser) - Since 2000, more than 300,000 bullet casings have piled up in an old fallout shelter in Pikesville, Maryland, the result of an ambitious program launched to catalog the casings in a database, which would then be used to help solve crimes, per the Baltimore Sun . But 15 years and... More »

Man Gets Arrested, Tries to Gnaw Off His Fingerprints

This happened in Florida

(Newser) - People have gone to some crazy lengths to try to hide their identity from police (Exhibit A: this guy ). And then there's Kenzo Roberts. Lee County Sheriff's detectives pulled over the Florida man on Thursday as he was driving a 2015 Mercedes that was listed as stolen;... More »

Your Fingerprint Can Reveal Drug Use

Scientists able to tell whether person has taken cocaine

(Newser) - Might the days of taking saliva or blood samples for drug tests be numbered? Scientists have figured out a way to use fingerprints instead, they report at . Specifically, the researchers used a chemical analysis of the prints to determine whether a person had ingested cocaine. Currently, scientists are... More »

Hacker: I Cloned Fingerprints From Photos

Says he stole German official's print using HD images

(Newser) - Fingerprints may not be as secure as you think. A hacker in Europe says he managed to create a copy of the German defense minister's thumb print using a digital camera and easy-to-get software, reports the BBC . Jan Krissler of the Chaos Computer Club says he used photos of... More »

School Takes Roll With Fingerprint Scans

Scanners to be installed on buses, too

(Newser) - Roll-calls are so 20th century. A cutting-edge Florida district is scanning students' fingerprints as a way of taking attendance, Popular Science reports. And the schools are getting even more careful: While the scanning systems are currently in school buildings, some will soon be moved to buses, allowing the district to... More »

FBI Seizes John Lennon Fingerprint Card at Auction

Feds still on his case

(Newser) - The FBI swooped into a Manhattan auction of John Lennon memorabilia yesterday and grabbed a fingerprint card of the legendary Beatle taken at a city police station. Managers of the Gotta Have It! store expected the card to be the biggest sale of the auction, and had set a minimum... More »

Feds Push Fingerprint 'Dragnet' for Illegal Immigrants

Obama administration moves to expand program

(Newser) - The federal government is quietly expanding a program that could have a bigger impact on immigrants' rights than the controversial Arizona law that goes into effect this week. Under the program, the fingerprints of everyone who is booked into jail for any crime—whether or not they are convicted—are... More »

Criminals Mangle Fingers to Erase Their Prints

By acid, fire, or knife, mutilators look to beat the system

(Newser) - It's painful, disgusting, and not always successful, but increasing numbers of people are mutilating their fingertips to prevent fingerprint ID, the Boston Globe reports. The numbers are relatively small—20 such arrests last year—but Massachusetts State Police have noticed a seven-fold increase in the number of perps with mangled... More »

Democrats' ID Card Plan: Get Your Fingerprints

'Biometrics' a big part of immigration reform proposal

(Newser) - Now it's the Democrats' turn to be accused of trying to violate civil liberties in the name of immigration reform. A crucial part of their plan calls for what amounts to a high-tech national ID card. It would have a "biometrics" component—namely fingerprints—and every worker would need... More »

12 Stories