The U.S. government began the Fingerprint Technology Vendor Evaluation (FpTVE) in 2003. It was the most comprehensive independent evaluation of fingerprint matching systems ever executed, particularly in terms of the number and variety of systems and fingerprints. From this testing, the U.S. government learned that top-performing systems performed consistently well over a variety of image types and data sources, and they produced matching accuracy results that were substantially different from less robust systems.
The testing also statistically confirmed the degree to which the use of additional fingers improve accuracy, as well as the degradation of accuracy caused by the collection of poor-quality fingerprints. Additionally, this test showed that fingerprint scanners alone do not determine fingerprint image quality.