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UK appoints lame duck Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner

Categories Biometrics News  |  Law Enforcement
UK appoints lame duck Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner

UK Home Secretary James Cleverly has appointed Tony Eastaugh as the new Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner.

Eastaugh’s previous roles include director general for immigration enforcement at the Home Office, and commander at the Metropolitan Police, a position he held for 12 years.

His new role includes responsibility for the use and retention of fingerprints and DNA samples by police, as well as the maintenance and enforcement of the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice.

Eastaugh is not expected to be long for the job, as its elimination is built into the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill. The Bill has advanced through the House of Commons, where it had its first reading on Wednesday. The second reading of the Bill is scheduled for December 19, after which it will have to go through committee, report, and third reading stages, followed by the consideration of amendments and royal assent to become law. Amendments already introduced to Parliament and announced by Cleverly would increase the power of counter-terrorism police to retain biometrics, aligning them with Interpol retention policy.

Former Commissioner Fraser Sampson resigned in August in anticipation of the role’s elimination, which has been roundly criticized by Sampson, who called the regulatory changes “tantamount to vandalism,” among others.

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