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Parliament Committee to examine case for personal data tsar 02/07/2019 The Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee has launched a call for evidence on new proposals to create a Scottish Biometrics Commissioner.

Parliament Committee to examine case for personal data tsar

The Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee has launched a call for evidence on new Scottish Government proposals to create a Scottish Biometrics Commissioner.

‘Biometric data’ covers personal information including physical, biological, physiological or behavioural identifiers. This Commissioner would be tasked with overseeing the use of such data by Police Scotland or the Scottish Police Authority.

These organisations currently use this sort of information to help them prevent, detect and fight crime – from traditional techniques such as fingerprinting to rapidly developing and new technology, like voice pattern analysis.

It is envisaged that the main purpose of the Commissioner would be to consider the ethical and human rights implications of such technologies. In particular, how authorities will collect, use, store and dispose of biometric data safely, and to promote compliance with the guidance set out.

The Committee will be examining issues such as whether the Commissioner is likely to be able to enforce compliance effectively, and whether the Bill’s proposals on the role, responsibility and power of the proposed Commissioner strike the right balance.

“The rapid development of technology that can identify individuals by using highly personal data, and the huge risks associated with this sort of data being used improperly, means that these are interesting and timely proposals from the Scottish Government,” said Committee Convener, Margaret Mitchell MSP. “The Committee will grapple with whether the idea to create this new Commissioner is the right way to deal with these issues, and whether the Commissioner’s proposed powers and remit are fit for the challenges ahead."

The Call for Evidence can be found here.

 

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