Scottish Government Wants to Introduce a Biometric Data Bill


The Government also intends to appoint a biometrics commissioner who would report to the Scottish Parliament.

The Scottish Government has revealed plans to develop a bill to regulate the use of biometric data in the criminal justice system.

The plan is one of many measures outlined in the recently unveiled programme for government over 2018-19, and follows the recommendations of the Independent Advisory Group on the Use of Biometric Data.

This proposed a code of practice on how various biometrics, including fingerprints, DNA and images, should be used, stored and disposed of, including a presumption that the data should be deleted after a certain length of time.

The advisory group also suggested that Scottish biometrics commissioner should be appointed, reporting to the Scottish Parliament.

The programme for government document states that these are to be included in the Biometric Data Bill, as well as with provision for a proportionate approach to capturing the data for children aged 12 to 17 years old.

It adds that the Scottish Government will continue to collaborate with others on technology for the criminal justice system, including on the development of digital evidence sharing.

A biometrics code of practice for the police was previously announced by the Scottish Government in March 2018.

Other plans around the use of data include making more information available as open data and investing in the development of AI for public services in Scotland. The latter includes an emphasis on supporting the development of technology platforms for collaborative research.

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