The core membership of the Group is:
- Dr Elizabeth Aston, Edinburgh Napier University (Chair)
- Andrew Hendry, Chief Digital Information Officer for Police Scotland
- Barry Sillers, Scottish Police Authority
- Bill Stevenson, Equality and Human Rights Commission
- Jenny Brotchie, Information Commissioner's Office
- Georgie Henley, techUK
- Professor Burkhard Schafer, Edinburgh University
- Dr Angela Daly, Strathclyde University
- Professor Bill Buchanan, Napier University
- Elaine Galbraith, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland
- Craig Naylor, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland
- Stephen Ferguson, The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service
- Ken Dalling, President of the Law Society of Scotland
To ensure the group is able to operate effectively and timeously, members are asked to only delegate attendance at meetings to others where their deputies are empowered to make decisions on behalf of the member.
In addition to the core membership of the group, there shall be a wider list of Individuals, groups and organisations that will support the work of the core group moving forward.
It is proposed that a call for evidence will be issued by the group to enable a wider range of views and perspectives to be taken into account.
To report to the Cabinet Secretary for Justice on whether the current legal or ethical frameworks need to be updated in order to ensure Police Scotland’s use of emerging technologies in relation to operational policing is compatible with equality and human rights and other applicable legislation and best practice; and to provide specific recommendations or potential outputs to address any identified issues.
To consider what potential impact emerging technologies or analytical techniques -either currently available or in development, but not presently deployed - could have on Police Scotland’s detection and prevention of crime.
To ensure that use of such emerging technologies or analytical techniques by Police Scotland is compliant both in application and in spirit with equality and human rights obligations, including those set out in the Human Rights Act 1988, the Scotland Act 1998 and the Equality Act 2010."
To determine whether the current legislative framework used by Police Scotland to exercise their powers is sufficiently robust to allow for the proportionate and justifiable deployment of such technologies or techniques. The group will consider this within the context of the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012 which focuses on public safety and wellbeing as well as the prevention of crime. Human rights, equality, data protection and other relevant legislation will be considered.
To draw on a wide range of evidence from Scotland and other jurisdictions in order to ensure that, as far as possible, the recommendations are forward and outward looking and future proofed.
To determine whether the range of ethical frameworks used by Police Scotland and other policing and public sector bodies are sufficiently robust to allow for the proportionate and justifiable deployment of such technologies or techniques.
To explore whether there are suitable institutional oversight functions to oversee the introduction of new technologies and consider in what circumstances policing bodies should seek to engage, consult and bring in independent bodies regarding the use of new technology.
To ensure that the Group’s focus, and any associated recommendations, take cognisance of the existing and planned landscape of advisory and regulatory bodies, including but not limited to the Investigatory Powers Commission and the Biometrics and Forensics Ethics Group.
The work of the group will be progressed via four work streams , each of which will be responsible for producing a separate report and recommendations which will all feed in to produce the final output of the group. The following work streams are proposed:
- Legal Framework and Ethical Standards
- Evidence and Scientific Standards
- Consultation and Community Engagement
- Oversight, Scrutiny and Review
It is proposed that progress on each stream would be made aligning to the following timeframes:
- March meeting - agree work streams and identify work stream leads
- May meeting - work stream to produce outline plan of the work they will undertake on their report for the meeting for consideration by the full group
- August meeting - work streams to produce key updates relating to each stream's work
- November meeting - work streams to produce initial findings for the meeting, taking account of the feedback received
- February meeting - consultation and Community Engagement and Oversight, Scrutiny and Review to produce final draft reports for consideration by the full group
- May meeting - Legal Framework and Ethical Standards and Evidence and Scientific Standards to produce final draft reports for consideration by the full group
- August meeting – final draft report to be considered by the full group
Scottish Government officials will provide secretariat support to the group.
While the secretariat are employed by the Scottish Government, while carrying out functions and support for the group, the secretariat act independently of the Scottish Government, answerable only to the Chair and members of the group.
The secretariat will support the Chair, as required and facilitate group meetings, provide a secure file sharing platform for members to progress work on, facilitate a call for evidence, if required by the group and general other secretariat functions.
The group, through the Chair, will report to the Cabinet Secretary for Justice both in providing regular updates on their progress, and in delivering final recommendations against the purpose set out above.
Group members will ensure their organisations work with SG colleagues to allow consistency and coordination of messaging around the group's work and support the successful engagement with the wider sector as well as the public.
The secretariat will facilitate a webpage on the gov.scot webpage that will detail the groups ongoing work including:
- the core membership of the group
- minutes from each meeting
- a link to a blog by the Chair of the group
- the wider list of potential contributors to the group's work
- relevant documents that the group would wish to share/publish
Dates of meetings
- 15 December 2020 – 14:00 – Microsoft Teams
- 11 March 2021 – 11:00 – Microsoft Teams
- 26 May 2021 – 11:00 – Microsoft Teams
- 26 August 2021 – 11:00 – Microsoft Teams
- 17 November 2021 – 11:00 – Microsoft Teams
- 24 February 2022 – 11:00 – Microsoft Teams
- 31 May – 11:00 – Microsoft Teams
- 24 August – 11:00 – Hybrid Meeting
- 27 October – 10:00 – Hybrid Meeting
- First published
- 12 May 2021
- Last updated
- 9 March 2022
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