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Independent Advisory Group on the Use of Biometric Data

The biometrics field is evolving rapidly and the use of biometric data and associated technologies by the police must operate within a clear framework which incorporates human rights and ethical considerations. 

The Scottish Government has established an Independent Advisory Group on the Use of Biometric Data in Scotland to provide recommendations to Ministers on a policy and legislative framework for police use of biometric data and associated technologies, and rules around retention.

The group is being chaired by prominent solicitor advocate John Scott QC and met for the first time on 28 June 2017.  Membership of the group is as follows:

  • Sean Scott, Detective Chief Superintendent, Specialist Crime Division, Police Scotland
  • Tom Nelson, Director of Forensic Services, Scottish Police Authority
  • Derek Penman, HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary in Scotland
  • Stephen McGowan, Procurator Fiscal, High Court, Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service
  • Diego Quiroz, Policy Officer, Scottish Human Rights Commission
  • Jim Fraser, Professor of Forensic Science, University of Strathclyde
  • Susan McVie, Professor of Quantitative Criminology, University of Edinburgh
  • Kenneth Macdonald, Head of ICO Regions, Information Commissioner’s Office
  • Genevieve Lennon, Chancellor’s Fellow, School of Law, University of Strathclyde

The advisory group will take full account of the HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland report  Audit and Assurance Review of the Use of the Facial Search Functionality within the UK Police National Database (PND) by Police Scotland, published on 27 January 2016.  A list of the information and reports that will inform the group’s initial considerations is available here.

Following its first meeting, the group has now published its Terms of Reference. We will provide further information as the group progresses with its work.

The group is expected to report to the Cabinet Secretary for Justice by the end of 2017.

If you have any views or information that you want to share with the group please email these to BiometricsAdvisoryGroup@gov.scot