Commission welcomes Scottish Biometrics Commissioner Act

The Scottish Human Rights Commission has welcomed the passing of the Scottish Biometrics Commissioner Act by the Scottish Parliament. This legislation will create a new Biometrics Commissioner to oversee the acquisition, retention, use and destruction of biometric data by police in Scotland. The Commissioner will also oversee a Code of Practice to guide the use of biometric data such as fingerprints, DNA, and facial and voice recognition.

Judith Robertson, Chair of the Commission said:

“This is a significant step in developing better protection for people’s human rights in the area of biometrics and forensics, which will help to ensure that use of such technologies by the police in Scotland complies with human rights standards. The Commission has previously raised concerns about the lack of legislative framework in this area, contributed evidence to Parliament on the human rights issues engaged, and contributed to the work of the Independent Advisory Group on biometrics.

“We are pleased that our contribution to this process has been reflected in human rights standards and considerations being placed at the core of the new Act, and the accompanying Code of Practice. We look forward to working with the future Biometrics Commissioner to introduce and support the implementation of these protections.