When they take a swab of your hands using either the scanner or the paper procedure, do they fingerprint us in the process?thanks

  • 1
    Do you mean the swab used for explosives (and sometimes drugs) detection at airport security discussed in this question? If so, no. Those machines don't have anything to do with fingerprints. If you mean something else, please tell us what you're describing. Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 8:33
  • Thanks for your reply Zach Lipton, I thought with all the technology today they could take fingerprints as well when they would swab our hands.
    – anonymous
    Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 9:22
  • Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your POV) that technology is as yet insufficiently advanced.
    – brhans
    Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 11:09
  • As others have said, if you're referring to the wand attachment that usually has a ball or some other object on the end that is rolled across your palm and then inserted into a machine, it's just looking for certain chemical traces.
    – Brian R
    Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 15:12
  • Close votes are baffling. The question is perfectly clear.
    – phoog
    Commented Jul 12, 2017 at 12:32

2 Answers 2


No, they don't take your fingerprints in the process. They swab your hands with a wet paper and put it inside an explosive detecting machine.

Source: getting swabbed many times.


I have been swabbed for explosives many times in many countries, and my fingerprints were never taken. In fact, I don't think they ever swabbed my fingertips, and it was only the palm of the hand that was swabbed.

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