Fingerprints, forever young?
In this study we analyzed longitudinal fingerprint data of 20 data subjects, acquired over a time span of up to 12 years. Using hierarchical linear modeling, we aimed to delineate mated similarity scores as a function of fingerprint quality and of the time interval between reference and probe images. Our results did not reveal effects on mated similarity scores caused by an increasing time interval across subjects, but rather individual effects on mated similarity scores. The results are in line with the general assumption that the fingerprint as a biometric characteristic and the features extracted from it do not change over the adult life span. However, it contradicts several related studies that reported noticeable template ageing effects. We discuss why different findings regarding ageing of references in fingerprint recognition systems were made.