Scotland to get ‘biometrics commissioner’


The Scottish Parliament has proposed legislation to create a Biometrics Commissioner for the country.

According to a statement, the commissioner will “oversee how policing bodies take, store, use and dispose of data such as finger-prints, DNA samples and facial images.” They will also ensure that the police’s approach “is carried out in a lawful, effective, proportionate and ethical way.”

The process will involve the establishment of a ‘biometrics’ code of practice for Police Scotland, the Scottish Police Authority, and the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner. A complaints procedure will also be established for members of the public who have concerns about the use of their data, as well as an independent advisory group.

Speaking of the legislation, justice secretary Humza Yousaf said: “The role of biometrics is increasingly important in how crime is investigated, detected and prosecuted in Scotland. This legislation will ensure quality and consistency in how biometric data is collected, used, retained and destroyed by policing bodies.

“It is important that we equip Scotland’s police officers with the necessary technology to ensure they can continue to keep people safe. At the same time, it is important that the public has absolute confidence in those technological advances and how their data will be collected or retained.”

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