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The Family With No Fingerprints


  • Case study
  • Posted by Good ID team (Good ID)
  • Via Mir Sabbir (BBC)
  • 8 January 2021

The family with an extremely rare genetic condition that means they have no fingerprints - and how this prevents them from accessing essential services

Apu Sarker from Bangladesh lacks fingerprints, in a DNA mutation that has been dubbed “immigration delay disease.” Fingerprints have become an important form of biometric data, and without them, Apu and his father, Amal, have struggled to get identification such as a National ID card and driver’s license.

“Amal carries the licence fee payment receipt with him but it doesn't always help him when he gets stopped - he has been fined twice. He explained his condition to both bemused officers, he said, and held up his smooth fingertips for them to see. But neither waived the fine.”

This article explains the difficulties Apu and his father have faced from government officials and the impact this has had on their ability to work, travel, and communicate.

In 2016, the government made it mandatory to match a fingerprint with the national database in order to purchase a Sim card for a mobile phone. "They seemed confused when I went to buy a Sim, their software kept freezing every time I put my finger on the sensor," Apu said, with a wry smile

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