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Scottish Government plans Biometric Data Bill


Mark Say Managing Editor

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The Scottish Government is planning to introduce a bill to regulate the use of biometric data in the criminal justice system.

The plan is among the measures outlined in the 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 – DNA, fingerprints, facial and other images – should be used, stored and disposed of, including a presumption that the data should be deleted after a minimum retention period.

It also called for the appointment of a Scottish biometrics commissioner reporting to the Scottish Parliament.

The programme document says these will be included in the Biometric Data Bill, along with provision for a proportionate approach to capturing the data for children aged 12-17.

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

In March it announced plans to develop a biometrics code of practice for the police.

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

Image (amended) by Leszek Leszczynski, CC BY 2.0 through flickr

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