There are many places where you have to produce fingerprints. These areas are usually critical to your progress or development.
The main reasons why fingerprints are collected is for verification of whether you have a criminal record. If you do, they would like to know what appears on those records. There is a database held by the government which will bring up your records, if the set they just took matches any you may have previously given to the police. If you have no records, the set they took will not bear any fruits.
Fingerprints are necessary for such an exercise since photographs can be manipulated. You can also change your appearance so that no results show up in the search. Fingerprints are unique and better to use. They are the best when it comes to identification. You can go for plastic surgery for the face, but you cannot for the fingers. Therefore, as long as you have a criminal record and you have not been pardoned or had the records suspended, the search results will turn up. It needs both sets of fingerprints to match.
You may know you have a clean background, and even offer definitive proof of this fact. But all of it remains inconsequential to this process. They might believe you, but later on regret that decision. This is why they cannot take your word for it anymore.
You will be asked for the fingerprints in a number of places. When you are looking for a job; you will have to produce a set. Most employers have issues employing people with criminal pasts. By using your fingerprints, they will get results faster. Every employer wants to hire only the best, and not people who will cause them trouble. This also goes into managing insurance costs. Insurance firms can add you more premiums if they know you have criminal elements in your system. They might even refuse you cover.
Education systems will also need to get a copy of those records. You need to undergo this if you are about to study a sensitive area, or to take up a certain position. There are sensitive career paths that do not need someone with a criminal record getting its training.
Fingerprints are also part of your citizenship application to another country. Immigrants will also have to face the same request. If you wish to adopt a child, you will also have to give them up. The state has strict rules against people with criminal pasts gaining access to children. But for all those who have never had a criminal past, this shall be a formality and nothing else to it.