Re: A distant memory
"I seem to remember reading somewhere that fingerprints were not actually unique, "
They ARE, but the number of points used by police, etc for ID are insufficient to establish uniqueness.
It wasn't a problem when only known criminals were in the system but once you have all and sundry in there there are too many false positives.
The same applies to DNA sampling, which is why the number of data points needed to be expanded (the original set were chosen to avoid racial profiling and the number of early cases where "matching DNA" has later been shown not to be is rather startling). It's worth noting that the earliest use of DNA sampling was to eliminate suspects, not to match them.