In 1858, Sir William Herschel, a British administrator for the East India Company, started to use hand impressions as a fraud deterrent: natives were asked to stamp their hands on contracts. At €rst, Herschel’s sole intention was to inspire enough apprehension among his contractors to ensure that they would honor their commitments; Herschel then realized the potential of €nger impressions for the veri€cation of the identity of known individuals and proposed a classi€cation system. During his subsequent appointment as a magistrate and collector in Calcutta, Herschel implemented the systematic recording and use of €nger impressions for all administrative tasks in his district [1,2,4].