Scotland proposes Biometric Data Bill to establish new commissioner and law enforcement regulations

The Scottish Government has called for the appointment of a biometrics commissioner for the country and included a plan to regulate the use of biometrics by law enforcement in its agenda for the coming parliamentary year, UKAuthority reports.

The moves follow the recommendations of the Independent Advisory Group on the Use of Biometric Data, which also spurred the government to launch public consultation in July to collect input on the code of practice to be enforced by the biometrics commissioner.

A draft of the Code of Practice for biometrics was recently published, and won praise from the Open Rights Group for its proposal of a timely automatic data deletion standard. The UK Home Office, on the other hand, has been criticized by a parliamentary committee for its data retention practices, and the use of facial recognition by UK police is currently subject to a legal challenge from Big Brother Watch.

The proposed Biometric Data Bill would include the regulations along with special provisions for collecting data from minors aged 12 to 17, and establish the new commissioner reporting to parliament. The government says it will continue to work with stakeholders on the development of digital evidence sharing and other technologies.

Other areas the Scottish Government will invest in include the use of AI for public services, and open data sharing platforms to support collaborative research.

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