The Scottish Parliament has announced that it is officially accepting applications for the country’s first ever Scottish Biometrics Commissioner, a role whose creation was unanimously approved earlier this year by Ministers of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs).
Regardless of who is chosen for the role, the Scottish Biometrics Commissioner will be accountable to the Scottish Parliament, and the position itself will face a review every few years in order to ensure that it stays up to date with the rapidly changing biometric technology landscape.
“The role of the Commissioner is to support and promote the adoption of lawful, effective and ethical practices in relation to biometric data in a policing and criminal justice context,” the Parliament announced in a statement, going on to note that the role itself is expected to be a high-profile and public-facing one.
The ethics behind biometric technologies — and facial recognition in particular — have been in the spotlight in recent years after a number of high-profile cases have made their way to the courts in the US.
Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act has seen a number of major companies on its receiving end, and controversial startup Clearview AI has been the subject of scandal after scandal following a New York Times front page story revealing that it was selling its database of images scraped off of social media sites to law enforcement agencies around the world.
November 27, 2020 – by Tony Bitzionis