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UK Biometrics and Forensics Ethics Group gets 2022 direction, new members

UK Biometrics and Forensics Ethics Group gets 2022 direction, new members

The UK Biometrics and Forensics Ethics group (BFEG) has received the 2021/2022 commissioning letter from the Home Office Head of Identity Policy Unit, Alex MacDonald.

The document acknowledges BFEG’s contribution to Home Office policy development over the past 12 months and asks the group to continue its efforts in the same areas.

The letter directly mentions the work BFEG conducted as part of the Home Office Biometrics Programme, as well as the support in other projects that use advanced data processing techniques and/or large and complex datasets.

Policy concerning the collection, use, retention, and deletion of biometrics and digital forensics material is also mentioned in the commissioning letter, as well as to digitization of services in the border, immigration, and citizenship system.

MacDonald concludes his letter by calling upon the Forensic Information Databases Strategy (FINDS) Board to request ad hoc advice on forensic information and database policy and projects.

Group adds three new members

The new members reportedly come from various backgrounds and joined the Biometrics and Forensics Ethics Group at the group’s plenary meeting on 20 October 2021.

The first of them is David Lewis, retired deputy chief constable of Dorset and Devon & Cornwall Police, and former National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for Ethics and national lead for Forensics Performance and Standards.

Also joining BFEG is Dr. Sarah Morris, senior lecturer and head of the Digital Investigation Unit Centre for Electronic Warfare Information and Cyber (EWIC) at Cranfield University.

Finally, Nina Hallowell, who was a BFEG member between 2011 and July 2020, returned to work with the group. Hallowell is a professor of Social and Ethical Aspects of Genomics at the University of Oxford.

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