Commission welcomes biometric data recommendations and Scottish Government response

The Scottish Human Rights Commission has welcomed the Scottish Government’s response to today’s report by the Independent Advisory Group on the Use of Biometric Data.

Judith Robertson, Chair of the Commission, said:

“Biometric data has important implications for privacy and other human rights such as the presumption of innocence. This is a timely moment as it allows Scottish law and policy in this area to develop in a human rights-based, ethical manner which gives appropriate weight to considerations of public protection on the one hand, and privacy and other relevant human rights on the other.

“The Commission welcomes the introduction of a code of practice based on legislation and an ethics advisory group which will provide a valuable forum for considering the ethical impact on society, groups and individuals of using biometric technologies. We also strongly support the need for an independent Scottish Biometrics Commissioner answerable to the Scottish Parliament and adequately resourced to ensure trust, transparency and accountability for the collection of personal data.

“The Commission was encouraged by the well-informed and participatory process undertaken by the Chair of the Independent Advisory Group. There is a continuing need to raise public awareness and confidence in other areas of technology where data is gathered and used. Human rights should continue to be mainstreamed into the strategies, policies and operational processes of policing as well as in other public and private organisations that use modern technologies and personal data.”


For more information please contact Emma Hutton at or 07833 402289