Scottish Advisory Group Recommends Establishment of Biometrics Commissioner, Rules for Police

Government authorities in Scotland have launched a public consultation on how police should handle biometric data, reports The Scotsman.Scottish Advisory Group Recommends Establishment of Biometrics Commissioner, Rules for Police

It’s the product of an Independent Advisory Group on biometrics established earlier this year, which has concluded that there should be formal rules concerning how such data is collected, stored, and disposed of. The matter would be overseen by a Scottish Biometrics Commissioner, whose jurisdiction would encompass various Scottish police authorities, and who would answer to the Scottish Parliament.

Commenting on the matter, the advisory group’s chair, John Scott QC, gestured toward recent controversies over police use of facial recognition technology in asserting that it is “crucial” that the use of biometric technologies occurs “in an ethical framework with proper respect for privacy and other human rights, as opposed to being solely technology-driven.” Scott added that consulting the public will help “to ensure that there is appropriate public confidence and trust in technology and retention of data”.

Scottish police have come under some scrutiny in recent years over their use of facial recognition technology, as have police authorities in the UK more broadly and in the US. For its part, the UK does have a Biometrics Commissioner of its own, who recently took issue with the newly published Home Office Biometrics Strategy over its lack of clarity over future plans for biometric deployments, and its lack of proposals for legislation concerning the technology’s use.

Source: The Scotsman

July 18, 2018 – by Alex Perala